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Ho Chi Minh City proposes shortening interval between AstraZeneca vaccine doses

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The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health has asked the Ministry of Health for permission to shorten the gap between two doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to six weeks, down from eight to 12 weeks as recommended, in order to expedite inoculation.

The proposal was made amidst the complicated development of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ho Chi Minh City, which is the hardest-hit locality in Vietnam with 303,475 local infections, accounting for half of the country’s caseload recorded since the emergence of a new bout on April 27.

The city with over 7.2 million adults has administered more than 7.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to its people, with the numbers of the first and second shots respectively topping 6.4 million and 1.3 million as of Saturday.

Dang Quang Tan, head of the Ministry of Health’s General Department of Preventive Medicine, confirmed on Monday the Ho Chi Minh City health department’s proposal on reducing the interval between two AstraZeneca vaccine doses.

While understanding the need to speed up vaccination in the southern city, Tan attached great importance to sticking to the instructions given by the manufacturer and the health ministry.

“Experts will carefully consider this proposal,” Tan said. 

The AstraZeneca vaccine manufacturer originally advised a pause of four to 12 weeks between its doses, according to an expert of Vietnam’s Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI).

The manufacturer then increased the recommended minimal interval to eight weeks, explaining that the longer gap, the better immune response.

Currently, the Vietnamese Ministry of Health has authorized the emergency use of seven COVID-19 vaccines, five of which have been administered to people.

In comparison to the AstraZeneca vaccine, all other six vaccines require a shorter interval of four weeks between two shots.

Vietnam has confirmed 620,165 community transmissions in 62 out of its 63 provinces and cities in the current wave and a total of 624,547 patients since the COVID-19 pandemic first emerged early last year.

Recoveries have reached 385,778 while the death toll has surged to 15,660.

Health workers have given around 29.2 million vaccine doses to citizens, including 1,066,948 shots on Sunday, since inoculation was rolled out on March 8.

More than 5.3 million people have been fully vaccinated.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210914/ho-chi-minh-city-proposes-shortening-interval-between-astrazeneca-vaccine-doses/63100.html

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Over 67% of Covid-19 patients at HCM City Covid-19 Resuscitation Hospital need psychological support

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According to a survey by the Covid-19 Resuscitation Hospital in HCM City, up to 67% of patients said they wanted to have psychological counseling.

Hơn 67% F0 ở Bệnh viện Hồi sức Covid-19 muốn được hỗ trợ tâm lý
Psychologist Tri Thi Minh Thuy talks with a severe Covid-19 patient who has recovered from the disease and is about to be discharged from the hospital. Photo: Cho Ray Hospital.

According to the survey, 20% of the patients suffered depression, 53.3% with anxiety disorder, and 16.7% with stress.

In particular, up to 66.7% patients who needed High Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC) suffered from depression. Similarly, 66.7% patients who had to breathe oxygen through a mask or mechanical ventilator suffered from anxiety disorder.

As many as 67% of patients wanted psychological counseling during treatment and after being discharged from the hospital.

The hospital has invited psychologist Tri Thi Minh Thuy from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ho Chi Minh City, to survey and provide psychological treatment support for patients at the hospital.

“When they go to the hospital for Covid-19 treatment, patients have to be away from their families and fight the virus alone to survive so it’s easy to cause sadness and loss of appetite,” said Dr. Thuy.

“Seeing me, many patients remained still. I said if you agree to talk to me, please give me a sign. They understood what I was saying but did not do anything. I had to help them eat and drink, talk to them, give them a massage, then they began to open their hearts,” she said.

After getting into contact with many severely ill Covid-19 patients, Dr. Thuy concluded that they suffered from anxiety, panic attacks, or depression. This is why they need a psychologist.

Tu Anh

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/over-67-of-covid-19-patients-at-hcm-city-covid-19-resuscitation-hospital-need-psychological-support-776618.html

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Côn Đảo to return to ‘new normal’ under province’s proposal

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Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu Province is drafting plans for reopening after September 22. — Photo courtesy of nld.com.vn

HCM CITY — Several wards and communes in Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu Province are expected to continue to be under the Government’s Directive 16, while Côn Đảo District would return to a “new normal” state.

The provincial Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on Tuesday held a meeting on epidemic prevention and control plans after September 22 to discuss ending the province’s 5th social distancing period.

Directive 16 would continue to be applied in wards Nguyễn An Ninh, Thắng Nhất, Thắng Nhì, 1, 10 and 11, located in various districts.

Some communes and towns in Long Điền District, namely Phước Hưng, An Ngãi and Long Hải, will also be under Directive 16.

Bà Rịa City, Phú Mỹ Town, Châu Đức District, Đất Đỏ District and Xuyên Mộc District, together with the remaining communes and towns of Long Điền District, will be under the more relaxed Directive 15.

Production and business activities in Côn Đảo District will resume in a new normal state. However, traffic from the mainland to the island must be carefully monitored.

Districts such as Châu Đức, Đất Đỏ, Xuyên Mộc and Bà Rịa City aim to slowly recover and carefully open some types of economic activities in four stages.

During the first stage, between September 23 and 30, those areas will loosen travel control in the “green zone” and reopen supermarkets, retail store chains, small businesses selling essential items, traditional markets and take-away food services, and resume agricultural, forestry and fishery production activities.

The second stage, from October 1 to 31, involves tourism at hotels with closed services.

If the epidemic continues to be controlled well and Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu returns to the new normal, the third stage, from November 11 to December 31, will be implemented.

The locality will allow tourist and resort establishments to welcome guests who are fully vaccinated. Real estate agencies, and security and insurance activities will be permitted to open, and intra-provincial public transport will operate at 50 per cent capacity. Education, training services and sports activities would be limited to no more than 20 people.

All economic activities in the last stage will reopen in 2022.

Vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Trần Văn Tuấn is seeking feedback from authorities and will announce the final plan soon.

As of September 21, after more than two months of social distancing, Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu had recorded 3,943 COVID-19 cases. — 

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/1036762/con-dao-to-return-to-new-normal-under-provinces-proposal.html

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Five teens killed in road crash during Mid-Autumn Festival in northern Vietnam

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Five teenage boys were killed and two others injured following a road accident involving four motorbikes that were traveling at high speed in the northern Vietnamese province of Phu Tho on Tuesday night.

The crash took place along a street in Minh Tan Commune, Cam Khe District at around 10:30 pm, according to Nguyen Hong Son, chairman of the commune’s People’s Committee.

A total of seven teenagers were traveling on four motorbikes at high speed when they crashed into one another.

Four of them were killed on the spot, while the other three were admitted to the hospital with serious injuries.

One of the injured later died at around 1:00 am on Wednesday.

The five deceased victims were identified as Nguyen Ngoc Duy, 16, Nguyen Trung Dung, 16, Doan Quoc Hoi, 17, Nguyen Thanh Toan, 18, and Nguyen Truong Son, 16, according to An Toan Giao Thong (Traffic Safety) newspaper, which is managed by the National Committee for Traffic Safety.

Khuat Viet Hung, vice-chairman of the committee, has requested authorities in Phu Tho to promptly carry out an investigation and find out the cause of the accident.

Hung directed competent authorities to check whether the victims were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and to verify any signs of illegal street racing.

The boys are believed to have been celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival prior to the crash, the provincial traffic safety committee reported.

The National Committee for Traffic Safety also asked their family members to pay attention to pandemic prevention and control measures when organizing funerals for the victims.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210922/five-teens-killed-in-road-crash-during-midautumn-festival-in-northern-vietnam/63216.html

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