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Hanoi Proposes Plan to Vaccinate 7.5m Residents Over 18 Against Covid-19

As part of a double-inoculation plan, 7.5 million Hanoi residents over the age of 18 would receive the vaccine.

The proposal, which was announced yesterday during a COVID-19 teleconference, is in partial response to the increased risk of an outbreak following people returning to the city after Tet travel. No specific timetable or distribution logistics were shared.

At the beginning of this month, Hanoi floated the idea to use its own funds to secure enough vaccines to immunize the city's entire population of eight million. 

Hanoi has not registered any new COVID-19 cases in nearly a week, and in addition to the plan to administer the vaccine, Hanoi has taken steps to ensure people arriving from high-risk areas such as Hai Duong Province do not bring the virus to the city. Authorities have screened 51,595 returnees from Hai Duong, with 49,637 sampled for testing and 40,672 receiving negative results.

At the same time, officials have called for the easing of restrictions on businesses in the capital. Lockdowns in 14 out of 18 areas in the city have been removed, and the final four are expected to be cleared by March 1.

Meanwhile, Hai Duong recently requested non-refundable aid of 200,000 to 300,000 vaccine doses from the Indian government. During this most recent outbreak of the virus, the province has recorded 625 cases and remains under a strict 15-day social distancing order that began on February 16.

On Monday, Vietnam confirmed plans to start administering vaccinations in Marchbeginning with frontline healthcare workers, followed by the elderly as well as those with underlying medical conditions and government officials.

The first 117,600 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca's Covid-19 arrived in Saigon this morning. In all, 4.9 million vaccine doses through the COVAX initiative could also arrive by the end of February, which are in addition to the 30 million total doses ordered by the Vietnamese government.

Two domestically produced COVID-19 vaccines are currently in early human trial stages in Vietnam, but they are not expected to be available until later this year at the earliest. Vietnam is also in talks with American vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna, as well as vaccine manufacturers in Russia and elsewhere with the hopes of securing 150 million doses in 2021, which would cover 70% the population.

[Photo via Envato]

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