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Low immunity rate, varying vaccine efficacy concerns behind Việt Nam’s cautious approach to ‘vaccine passports’

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Vietnamese citizens repatriated from Taiwan (China) in protective suits on April 12, 2021, prepare to be transported to 14-day stay at centralised quarantine facilities. — VNA/ Photo 

HÀ NỘI — Director General of the General Department of Preventive Medicine Đặng Quang Tấn has mentioned three reasons for Việt Nam not yet accepting “vaccine passports”.

First, COVID-19 vaccines, he said, only reduce the seriousness of diseases when people are infected, while travel recommendations for vaccinated people have not been fully researched.

Secondly, different countries are administering different COVID-19 vaccines, such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Sputnik V, and Sinovac, with varying protection efficacy, so which country would allow the entries of people injected with which types of vaccines remains a question.

The third and final reason Tấn cited is that the application of vaccine passports should depend on the level of community immunity.

As Việt Nam is largely free of the virus, and the rate of vaccine coverage in the country remains quite low due to shortages, the level of immunity against COVID-19 among the population is very low, so if the management of foreign entries is lax, the risks of virus spread in the community would be “uncontrollable.”

Sunday report from the National Expanded Programme on Immunisation said by 4pm Saturday, nearly 199,000 people in Việt Nam, mostly frontline workers and medical staff, have been inoculated against COVID-19, using AstraZeneca vaccines.

The pandemic continues to spread quickly around the world, with 600,000-700,000 new cases and 1,000-2,000 deaths each day on average.

Việt Nam has now gone about a month without any community transmissions, but the pandemic is showing complicated developments throughout Southeast Asia. Several regional and neighbouring countries are experiencing new outbreaks due to large gatherings of people.

The Health Ministry has proposed that those who receive recommended vaccinations could have their quarantine time reduced, which is waiting for approval from top ministry officials and the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Also according to Tấn, Việt Nam is considering the pilot application of vaccine passports in tourist areas and several golf courses.

A vaccine passport is a certificate proving that one has been vaccinated against COVID-19 as recommended by the manufacturers or State management agencies. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has yet to recommend the scheme. Only Singapore is piloting the measure, on a limited scale. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/933211/low-immunity-rate-varying-vaccine-efficacy-concerns-behind-viet-nams-cautious-approach-to-vaccine-passports.html

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Vietnam records 37 more domestic Covid-19 patients

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Vietnam records 37 more domestic Covid-19 patients

People in HCMC’s Binh Tan District stand in line to wait for their turn to take coronavirus tests on June 22, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.


The infection tally of Vietnam’s new Covid-19 wave rose to 10,694 on Thursday morning with 37 new cases added.

The new patients were recorded in HCMC (26), northern province of Thai Binh and Bac Giang (three each), southern provinces of Tay Ninh and Long An (two each), and central province of Khanh Hoa (one).

Of the cases in HCMC, 24 are associated with previously confirmed Covid-19 patients and the authorities are still looking into the transmission source for the other two.

In Bac Giang, three cases are linked to clusters at its industrial parks.

Thai Binh registered three cases whose sources of transmission are yet to be determined.

Tay Ninh got two cases, inlcuding one returning from central Da Nang City and one with unclear source of infection.

Long An reported two cases related a cluster at Dinsen Co. Ltd in Ben Luc District.

Khanh Hoa got one case in the beach town of Nha Trang that is linked to a patient in HCMC.

The new update marks the first community case in Khanh Hoa so far far in the new wave, and the return of local infections for Tay Ninh and Thai Binh after more 20 clean days.

Since the new wave started on April 27, local infections have been recorded in 45 cities and provinces, led by Bac Giang with 5,502 cases and HCMC with 2,100.

More than 5.92 million of the nation’s 96 population have been tested since April 29.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/vietnam-records-37-more-domestic-covid-19-patients-4298128.html

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National population database project to be implemented on July 1

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The project on building a national database on population and production, and issuing and managing citizen identification has been basically completed.

National population database project to be implemented on July 1

Lieutenant General Nguyen Duy Ngoc at the conference

The shifting from the management mode of paper household residence registration books to personal identification numbers will be implemented soon.

The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) on June 22 organized a conference reviewing the national population and production database project and citizen identity card issuance.

Thr ministry organized a ceremony on announcing the official running of the system, commencing from July 1.

PM Pham Minh Chinh and leaders of ministries attended the ceremony.

According to Lieutenant General Nguyen Duy Ngoc, Deputy Minister of Public Security, the two projects were approved by the PM in 2020. Though they were independent projects, the Ministry of Public Security decided to integrate them to help cut costs. The projects cost VND1 trillion lower than the estimates.

Ngoc named four outstanding achievements of the projects.

First, completed the building of a national database center in population and production system, and the issuance and management of citizen ID cards.

The ministry instructed the contractors to design in a way that is ‘modern, synchronous, high security and not wasteful’. They were implemented with the support of MIC to ensure the meeting of the requirements, with the information security meeting the fourth level as stipulated by the Decree 85.

Second, MPS has completed the collection and addition of population information across the country, “cleaned” the data, synchronized it into the system and issued identification codes to citizens nationwide.

To date, information about 98 million individuals has been collected . Identification codes were granted to citizens on June 18. This is an important basis for establishing electronic identity of citizens, contributing to national digital transformation.

Third, the designing and production of new citizen ID cards with electronic chips have been completed. From March 1 to now, 54 million dossiers for application for citizen ID card granting have been submitted, one month earlier than planned.

However, Ngoc said the printing and delivering of citizen ID cards are still slow because of the lack of materials and electronic chips caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fourth, MPS has successfully carried out the trial connection of the national database in population with ministries, branches and local authorities.

MPS has conducted a test run of connecting and integrating services shared with the Ministry of Infomation and Communications (MIC), Ministry of Finance  (MOF), Ministry of Justice (MOJ), and the people’s committees of Bac Ninh, Quang Ninh, Da Nang and Thua Thien-Hue; and has cooperated with the Government Office to trial the service connection on the national public service portal. 

Doan Bong

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/national-population-database-project-to-be-implemented-on-july-1-748422.html

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Transmission sources unknown for many HCMC Covid-19 patients

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Transmission sources unknown for many HCMC Covid-19 patients

A man walks a bicycle past the Saigon General Hospital in HCMC’s District, June 22, 2021. The hospital is currently locked down as linked to at least five Covid-19 cases. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.


Many new Covid-19 cases detected in HCMC recently are of people visiting hospitals seeking treatment for other health problems, meaning their transmission sources are unclear.

The number of daily cases in HCMC has kept passing the 130 mark for over a week now, making up the highest number of cases reported nationwide.

Part of the cases are related to clusters the city has identified, but more than a few have only been detected after patients visited local hospitals for health examinations and a screening step later revealed they’d contracted the new coronavirus.

Over the past two weeks, the city has been detecting new infections without clear sources of transmission every day.

It means the virus has spread quietly in the community, according to the city’s Center for Disease Control.

On Wednesday morning, of 51 cases confirmed in HCMC, 10 were detected after visiting local hospitals for their medical checkups. They are residents of districts of 8, 10, 4 and Thu Duc City.

On Tuesday, as the city recorded 136 patients, nine were found in similar circumstances, having come on their own for health checks to local hospitals.

The ratio was 137:19 last Sunday, 135:20 last Saturday and 149:13 last Friday.

So far in the new wave that broke out two months ago, many healthcare facilities in the city have had to suspend operations or placed under lockdown after finding patients with Covid-19.

Most recently, the Saigon General Hospital on Le Loi Street of District 1 was locked down starting Tuesday after it received five different patients who were confirmed positive for the novel coronavirus later.

Truong Huu Khanh, consultant at the infectious diseases department at HCMC Children’s Hospital No.1, said the continuous detection of new cases through spontaneous medical examinations at hospitals shows that the anti-Covid-19 strategy adopted so far, which is locating, isolating and conducting mass testing in affected areas, is not enough.

He proposed an adjustment that allows local people to get the coronavirus test as soon as they wish, such as at medical centers in the ward and district where they live, instead of going all the way to some big hospitals and getting the test via their regular screening step.

With more hospitals detecting infections in the new outbreak, many people are now hesitant to visit hospitals and therefore, by the time they develop Covid-19 symptoms and seek medical checks, it is already too late for effective contact tracing.

“If the process of tracking down the source of transmissions and all those who have come into contact with a Covid-19 patient begins only after the latter is found positive, it will not be possible to deal with the outbreak thoroughly,” Khanh said.

HCMC is facing its most challenging disease outbreak ever.

Last Sunday, the southern metropolis overtook the northern province of Bac Ninh as the locality with the second highest number of local infections in the new wave. Its case count hit 2,074 Wednesday night.

The city is going through its fourth week of social distancing restrictions, which started May 31.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/transmission-sources-unknown-for-many-hcmc-covid-19-patients-4297085.html

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