Vietnam’s Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a meeting on the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness (December 27), highlighting the importance of full vaccination and partnerships against epidemics.
|Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son made a speech at the meeting |
The online event connecting 63 cities and provinces nationwide emphasised the role of authorities at all levels, domestic and foreign agencies and organisations in vaccination in general and inoculation against COVID-19 in particular; as well as people's responsibility for immunisation programmes.
Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son said that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam has actively implemented drastic measures to prevent and control the pandemic, with monitoring, testing, tracing, quarantine, and treatment effectively conducted in various flexible forms.
He added as of December 24, nearly 144 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered. The coverage rate of at least one shot of vaccine, and full two japs is 79 and 66 per cent of the national population, respectively, exceeding the target set by the World Health Organization (WHO) by the end of 2021.
He suggested localities to stay vigilant and closely follow the situation, as well as strengthen monitoring, and tracing measures.
“Attention must be paid to managing high-risk groups and organising mobile vaccination programmes to ensure that people in risk groups are not missed,” he stressed. “Vietnam must complete the injection of second jabs for people aged 18 and above by December 31, and for children aged between 12-18 in January 2022, and the vaccination of third shot for people aged 18 and above in the first quarter of 2022.”
|As of December 24, nearly 144 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered |
Addressing the event, representative of the WHO in Vietnam Kidong Park said it is an unprecedented success that safe and efficacious COVID-19 vaccines were developed within a year and over 8.6 billion vaccine doses have been administered within a year.
“It is really impressive that Vietnam has been able to secure over 160 million vaccine doses and administered over 140 million to the population in such a short time period,” he added.
The WHO representative, however, noted that persistent global vaccine inequity remains and is of a growing concern. So far, only under 5 per cent of the population in low-income countries have received the primary series of vaccination. The emergence of the Omicron variant of concern underscores the vital need for fair and broad access to vaccines to end the pandemic.
“Solidarity and coordination are crucial, within and among countries; no one is safe unless all of us are safe,” he stressed.
|The online event connecting with 63 provinces and cities nationwide |
In his speech at the event, Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Hieu said the ministry will continue to make maximum efforts to accompany the health sector in prevention, preparedness, and cooperation, especially in vaccine diplomacy to effectively respond to epidemics.
In December last year, the United Nations General Assembly approved the resolution on International Day of Epidemic Preparedness designating December 27 as a day to highlight the importance of the prevention of, preparedness for, and partnerships against epidemics.
This resolution is also the first proposed, negotiated, and promoted by Vietnam, demonstrating the country’s continuously growing role as a key player in the global health security arena.
By Bich Thuy