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Government allows Ho Chi Minh City to purchase, import COVID-19 vaccines

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Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam on Tuesday allowed Ho Chi Minh City to purchase and import COVID-19 vaccines following the proposal of the municipal administration, the Vietnam Government Portal reported.

The Ministry of Health will be responsible for licensing, as well as assessing and managing the quality of the imported vaccine doses in accordance with government regulations.

In its proposition sent to the prime minister, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee stated that the city has more than 7.2 million residents who are over 18 years old, including 1.6 million factory workers at local industrial parks.

The city has only received 140,000 COVID-19 vaccine shots so far, with over 64,000 people having received their first doses and 10,000 having completed the two-dose regimen.

Vaccine purchase has become a significant and urgent matter in order for the city to achieve herd immunity, with over 70 percent of its population vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Ho Chi Minh City administration proposed that the government allow local businesses to negotiate with reputable vaccine manufacturers and distributors, as well as to import the doses into Vietnam.

Businesses should also be allowed to coordinate with vaccination units to administer the shots to their employees.

They will have to ensure safety and quality during the inoculations, while prices will be based on their contracts with vaccination units.

Vietnam has documented 11,304 COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday morning, with 4,543 recoveries and 61 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.

The country has recorded 8,088 local infections in 40 provinces and cities since the fourth wave of transmissions started on April 27.

Ho Chi Minh City ranks third in the table with 980 cases.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210616/government-allows-ho-chi-minh-city-to-purchase-import-covid19-vaccines/61543.html

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Girl falls to death at apartment building in Hanoi

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A 12-year-old girl died after falling from the 12th floor to the third floor of an apartment building in Hoang Mai District, Hanoi on Tuesday night.

The incident occurred at the HH4C building in Linh Dam apartment complex in Hoang Mai District at around 10:00 pm on the same day.

Residents of the building heard a loud bang at that time and ran outdoors to check.

At the skylight area on the third floor, they saw a girl lying immobile.

The victim died on the spot, according to local authorities.

She was later verified to live in a flat on the 12th floor of the apartment building, a representative of its management board told Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper on Wednesday morning.

The girl was determined to have fallen from the window ventilator of her flat to the skylight.

“The girl’s parents had separated,” the management board’s representative said.

“During their investigation, the authorities discovered a suicide note allegedly written by the girl.”

Hoang Mai District police are investigating to clarify the cause of the incident.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210804/girl-falls-to-death-at-apartment-building-in-hanoi/62418.html

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Health ministry told Nanogen to submit human trials data to health ministry before August 15 for reviews

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The health ministry on Monday asks HCM City-based biopharmaceutical company Nanogen, developer of the Vietnamese COVID-19 vaccine Nano Covax, to submit results of phase 2 and initial phase 3 trials to be reviewed for emergency approval.

Health ministry told Nanogen to submit human trials data to health ministry before August 15 for reviews
Deputy Health Minister Tran Van Thuan (middle) inspects a vial of Nano Covax, the frontrunner of the Vietnamese COVID-19 vaccine. — Photo from the Ministry of Health

Deputy Health Minister Tran Van Thuan, leader of the ministry’s special task force on clinical trials and development of COVID-19 vaccines, made the request during a progress meeting with experts, as the country deals with a severe fourth wave of infections while vaccine supply is still limited amid a global shortage.

The meeting included leaders of the Department of Science and Technology-Training (under the health ministry), the Military Medical Academy, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, and the Pasteur Institute in HCM City and was held to review the current progress and find ways to facilitate the clinical trials and push for reports on data of phase 1, 2, 3 (a, b) of the Nano Covax vaccine. 

Phase 3 trials are being conducted with 13,000 volunteers, divided into two phases, 3a with 1,000 people and 3b with 12,000 people.

13,000 first doses in phase 3 have been administered, with the second dose expected to be completed before mid-August, according to the company.

Surrogate virus neutralisation tests (sVNT) for the 1,000 people involved in phase 3a, revealed 100 per cent production of neutralising antibodies at levels higher than 30 per cent, but further monitoring is needed.

In tandem with applying for conditional approval for emergency use, Nanogen is also requesting the health ministry to consider phase 3c trials, which would involve 500,000 to 1 million volunteers. Trials of the vaccine on children 12-18 years old would be conducted once the full approval is obtained.

Deputy Minister Thuan said the ministry is anticipating the domestically researched and manufactured COVID-19 vaccine will help protect the health and lives of the Vietnamese people, be more proactive in vaccine rollout and reduce dependency on foreign vaccine imports.

“The good news is the [Nano Covax] vaccine seems to be safe and can elicit high level of [SARS-CoV-2] neutralising antibodies,” he said. “But we have not yet had enough data on the protective properties of the vaccine, more time and more study is needed.”

The Ministry of Health has always supported and created the most favourable conditions for companies and individuals to participate in the production of COVID-19 vaccines, having mobilised many industry-leading scientists in the country’s to participate in the assessment of vaccines.

The health official wants Nanogen to submit a report on research results for phase 2 and initial phase 3, so that the National Ethics Committee in Biomedical Research could start evaluation for emergency approval for Nano Covax.

Source: Vietnam News

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/health-ministry-told-nanogen-to-submit-human-trials-data-to-health-ministry-before-august-15-for-reviews-762312.html

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Đắk Lắk people provide food for those in need

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It is in challenging times that we see the best of people. And in Việt Nam, there is no shortage of do-gooders willing to help those in need. In Đắk Lắk volunteers and government officials are collected much-needed produce to send to localities hit hardest by the pandemic.

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/1002933/dak-lak-people-provides-foos-for-those-in-need.html

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