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There’s one COVID-19 vaccine currently available in Vietnam, but how effective is it?

Saturday, March 13, 2021, 09:35 GMT+7
There’s one COVID-19 vaccine currently available in Vietnam, but how effective is it?
A man carry’s the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Ho Chi Minh City, March 8, 2021. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

The efficacy of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine ranges from 62 to 90 percent, Duong Thi Hong, deputy head of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and head of the Expanded Program on Immunization, said, citing information released by the World Health Organization and findings from several clinical trials.

As the vaccine does not provide absolute protection against COVID-19, those who have already vaccinated must still comply with prevention and control measures guided by the Ministry of Health, Hong continued, adding that vaccine recipients should receive two jabs within 12 weeks in order for it to reach its maximum efficacy.

Since AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine has only been in circulation for a short period of time, data on the duration of immunity against COVID-19 has not yet been finalized and no further recommendations have been made regarding additional jabs beyond the two-dose regimen.

Meanwhile, Vu Thu Ha, supply chain director of the Vietnam Vaccine JSC (VNVC), quoted information from AstraZeneca as saying that the vaccine’s efficacy is 82 percent following a the two-dose regimen with a 12-week interval.

The vaccine can help prevent COVID-19 or alleviate the disease, Ha stated.

Vietnam expects to obtain 150 million doses this year, with 60 million already secured from AstraZeneca and the World Health Organization’s COVAX scheme.

The Southeast Asian country received its first COVID-19 vaccine shipment on February 24 – a batch of 117,600 doses of COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, a small portion of the 30 million total jabs VNVC bought from AstraZeneca. 

COVID-19 inoculation in Vietnam began on March 8.

Due to limited supply, the first phase of the health ministry’s distribution limits vaccination sites to just 13 provinces and cities, 21 hospitals and medical centers, and the Ministries of Public Security and National Defense. 

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