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Ho Chi Minh City to kick off largest-ever COVID-19 vaccination drive on weekend

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A mass coronavirus inoculation drive with over 800,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses will be carried out in Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday at around 1,000 vaccination points, a high-ranking health official has said.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son made the statement on Thursday when he joined the municipal Pasteur Institute to inspect the storage of 836,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine jabs having been allocated by the central government to the city.

These doses, developed by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, are among nearly one million shots of the vaccine the Japanese government donated to Vietnam on Wednesday. 

This allocation reflected a priority the government and the National Vaccine Steering Board has given to the nine-million-strong city to help it expand the immunization coverage and thereby drive back the increasing COVID-19 spread, which has so far affected the entire southern city, Deputy Minister Son said. 

The vaccine doses underwent required tests lasting for 48 hours at the Vaccine Testing Institute for safety certification before use, the deputy minister said.

This supplied photo shows the AstraZeneca vaccine shipment upon its arrival in the Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi on late June 16, 2021.

This supplied photo shows the AstraZeneca vaccine shipment upon its arrival at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on June 16, 2021.

The vaccination drive is expected to start on Saturday at 1,000 points of inoculation citywide and will last for five or seven days, making it the largest-ever mass COVID-19 immunization in the city.

The inoculation will be intended for priority subjects designated by the government and others including essential service providers, teachers, health workers, people working at administrative agencies, people over 65 years old, and workers at industrial parks and export processing zones.

Each point will vaccinate 200 people per day, which means a total of 200,000 people can receive injections per day.

City authorities have drawn up a plan to mobilize all possible health workers and facilities for the mass inoculation, the deputy minister said, adding that lists of vaccination must be made available within Friday.

“It is a principle that this mass immunization is conducted quickly but must ensure absolute safety for vaccinated people,” Son requested.

Ho Chi Minh City health authorities recently reported that around 11,000 locals have been vaccinated since June 3, bringing the total number of inoculated people to about 84,000 since the city began its immunization program on March 8.

Nationwide, nearly two million vaccine shots had been administered and 90,000 people had received the full two doses by Thursday, according to the health ministry’s data. 

The ministry confirmed 121 new coronavirus cases at noon on Friday, including 119 domestic and two imported cases, of which 59 were detected Ho Chi Minh City.

The new cases have taken the Southeast Asian country’s tally of patients to 12,352, including 62 deaths, since early 2020.

Since April 27, when the pandemic’s fourth wave appeared in Vietnam, the country has documented 9,114 domestic infections.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210618/ho-chi-minh-city-to-kick-off-largestever-covid19-vaccination-drive-on-weekend/61597.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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