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Shelf life of Covid-19 vaccine may be extended up to 12-24 months

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Pfizer is continuing its research and if it finds the vaccine quality to be stable, it may submit dossiers to appropriate agencies to apply for a shelf-life extension to 12, 18 or even 24 months.

Shelf life of Covid-19 vaccine may be extended up to 12-24 months

Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan

At a Government press conference on December 2, 2021, VietNamNet raised a question about the extension of the shelf life of the two Pfizer vaccine batches to nine months.

“The Ministry of Health (MOH) explained that on September 30, 2021, the Advisory Council for the Grant of Drug Registration Numbers approved the extension of the shelf life of Pfizer vaccine to nine from the previous six months. However, people cannot understand why MOH announced the expiry date extension some days ago, when the two batches of vaccines were near the expiry date. And when announcing the extension, MOH did not give detailed explanations. Only when newspapers began reporting the public’s complaints about this did the ministry raise its voice explaining the extension. Could you please tell us if there are any other countries which have also extended the expiry dates as Vietnam has done?”

In reply, MOH Deputy Minister Tran Van Thuan said the expiry date extension has been applied everywhere to Pfizer vaccines used for people aged 12 and above, not only in Vietnam.

The decision about the extension was made after the manufacturer proved that vaccine quality remains stable and unchanged when the shelf life is extended. The vaccines produced at the time when FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and EMA (European Medicines Agency) gave authorization had shelf life of six months and they will be automatically extended to nine months.

Thuan said that other countries have not changed the labels with expiry dates and they have only made private announcements about the extension of the shelf life.

The manufacturer is continuing its research and if it finds that the quality of vaccines is stable, it may ask for permission to extend the shelf life to 12, 18 or even 24 months.

Thuan quoted Kidong Park, Chief Representative of World Health Organization (WHO) in Vietnam, as saying that the Pfizer vaccine was the first vaccine approved by WHO on December 31, 2020 for emergency use.

On January 8, WHO gave recommendations about the use and required preservation of Pfizer vaccines. The manufacturer then continued to conduct research on the vaccine and develop it. National vaccine administration agencies updated approval conditions after thoroughly considering new proofs and scientific data provided by the manufacturer, including the extension for immunization to people aged 12 and above; and extension of the shelf life to nine months.

All the batches of vaccines are inspected by the National Institute for Control of Vaccine and Biologicals before use in Vietnam. The extension of the expiry date by three months absolutely doesn’t affect the quality of vaccines,”

Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan

In August, WHO approved the updated approval conditions, including the extension of the shelf life to nine months applied to all Pfizer vaccines, including ones produced before August 2021.

During the transport of vaccines from the manufacturer to Vietnam, the vaccines are stored at minus 90 degrees C to minus 60 degrees C in specialized equipment from the manufacturer. This kind of vaccine can be preserved at 2-8 degrees C for one month at maximum.

“All the batches of vaccines are inspected by the National Institute for Control of Vaccine and Biologicals before use in Vietnam. The extension of the expiry date by three months absolutely doesn’t affect the quality of vaccines,” Thuan said.

He repeated Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long’s statement, stressing that the expiry date extension in Vietnam is implemented in accordance with international practice, and that Vietnam has not done this independently. All vaccines are inspected as per WHO request to ensure their quality before use.

When asked about pandemic developments and the measures taken to reduce the death rate, Thuan said the number of infections and deaths are on the rise. Most of the deaths are people aged over 50.

MOH has applied measures to cope with the problem, including the re-activation of centers giving support from a distance and the establishment of a center for surveillance of deaths and their causes. The ministry has asked experts to coordinate the treatment so that appropriate treatment is given to patients. Vietnam is applying a three-level treatment model, with the third level reserved for severe cases.

“If patients are taken to the third level too soon, this will cause overloading, and if too late, this will lead to a higher risk of death. Therefore, it’s necessary to give suitable treatment level in accordance with MOH’s instructions on patient classification,” Huan explained.

Vietnam has given 125 million immunization doses to people aged 18 and over, and children aged 12 and above. At least 94 percent of people aged 18 and over have received the first jab and nearly 80 percent have had two. In many cities and provinces, 80-90 percent of people aged 18 and over have been fully vaccinated.

Regarding booster shots, Thuan said Vietnam will have enough vaccines for booster shots. The country is expected to have 200 million doses by the end of the year under signed contracts. 

Ngoc Trang

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/feature/shelf-life-of-covid-19-vaccine-may-be-extended-up-to-12-24-months-798177.html

Society

The Lunar New Year of overseas Vietnamese students

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Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many overseas Vietnamese students will not be able to return to Vietnam to celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year holidays (Tet).

Hoang Thi Phuong, 19, a freshman at GUu State University of Management (Russia), said: “This is my first year away from home. I have to do everything by myself, sometimes I miss home a lot.”

Du học sinh tâm tư những ngày đầu năm mới

Hoang Thi Phuong.

To celebrate the Lunar New Year, the Vietnamese student association in Russia organized a cooking contest which helped with Phuong’s homesickness. She will have a New Year’s Eve party with her dormitory friends.  

For Nguyen Huyen My, a student at Université catholique de l’Ouest (UCO), France, this is the third year welcoming the New Year in a foreign land.

Du học sinh tâm tư những ngày đầu năm mới

Nguyen Huyen My.

Huyen My said that most of the time she learns directly at the school and online only in case of force majeure. This year, My cannot return home when the cost of travel and quarantine is about 6,000 dollars. 

My added that usually on New Year’s Eve, the Vietnamese student association will celebrate and have fireworks show together, but this year it will be difficult to do so because of the pandemic.

“I’m also used to having my own New Year’s party. This time of the year is the time for me to relax after finishing the exam, so I’ll probably go somewhere to relax,” she said. 

Thai Doanh Nghi, auditing student at Depaul University (USA), said she has lived in the US for five years, so she is used to celebrating the New Year alone.

Du học sinh tâm tư những ngày đầu năm mới
Thai Doanh Nghi.

However, she gets homesick quite often. “When I get homesick, I often call and talk to my parents, sometimes I go out with my sister and cousin here, so it’s not that lonely.” 

Last year was a difficult year for Nghi as she suffered from depression while finishing her studies and internship at Deloitte.

To celebrate the new year this time, Nghi plans to hold a small party with her boyfriend and her two Corgies. She wants to be able to return to Vietnam to visit her family in the summer. 

Doan Hung

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/the-lunar-new-year-of-overseas-vietnamese-students-811001.html

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Việt Nam reports 15,743 new cases on Tuesday

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 The new infections include 44 imported and 15,699 domestically-transmitted cases which were found in Hà Nội (2,956), Đà Nẵng (989), Hải Phòng (704), Thanh Hóa (685), Hưng Yên (623), Bắc Ninh (560), Bắc Giang (445), Quảng Ngãi (400), Hải Dương (397), Hòa Bình (386), Vĩnh Phúc (385), Bình Định (374), Phú Thọ (370), Bến Tre (352), Nam Định (337), Bình Phước (335), Quảng Ninh (322), Thừa Thiên-Huế (305), Đắk Lắk (303), Quảng Nam (301), Thái Nguyên (271), Thái Bình (267), Nghệ An (263), Lâm Đồng (225), Lào Cai (202), Khánh Hòa (200), Cà Mau (200), Quảng Bình (186), Kon Tum (178), Sơn La (152), Vĩnh Long (151), Tây Ninh (146), Bạc Liêu (146), Hà Nam (138), Trà Vinh (123), Yên Bái (114), Hà Giang (104), HCM City (99), Điện Biên (80), Bình Thuận (77), Tuyên Quang (70), Hậu Giang (69), Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu (68), Bình Dương (61), Quảng Trị (59), Đồng Tháp (52), Phú Yên (50), Đắk Nông (48), Cần Thơ (42), Long An (38), Lai Châu (37), An Giang (35), Bắc Kạn (34), Ninh Bình (34), Cao Bằng (34), Ninh Thuận (34), Đồng Nai (31), Kiên Giang (26), Sóc Trăng (12), Tiền Giang (11), and Gia Lai (3). Details will follow shortly.

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/1119689/viet-nam-reports-15743-new-cases-on-tuesday.html

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Saigon’s mobile barbershop offers free haircuts to children who lost parents to COVID-19

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Two Vietnamese barbers in Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday started welcoming their special little guests who had lost their parents during the COVID-19 pandemic to their mobile barber truck.

The custom-made four-seater barbershop is the brainchild of Do Van Tien, 23, and Nguyen Thanh Manh, 24.

The mobile barbershop has been parked near the Binh Tan Community Center in Ho Chi Minh City.

Responding to the collective effort of the city’s Federation of Labor and Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer) newspaper in organizing the ‘Tet Cho Em’ (Tet for Children) program, Tien and Manh decided to spend their weekend offering free haircuts to nearly 200 orphans in the area, given their tight schedule prior to the Lunar New Year holiday, which is around one week away.

Nguyen Thanh Manh is giving a free haircut to the five-year-old Kim An Nguyen, whose grandfather and father lost their lives to the coronavirus. Photo: Vu Thuy / Tien Phong

Nguyen Thanh Manh is pictured giving a free haircut to five-year-old Kim An Nguyen, whose grandfather and father lost their lives to the coronavirus last year. Photo: Vu Thuy / Tien Phong

The idea behind the mobile barbershop came about as a way to support the underpriviledged children.

Manh has just finished his three-year military service, during which he understood the challenges in fighting against the pandemic and the difficulties of people who lost their relatives.

“For children who no longer see their parents, a new year without their most beloved will be so tough for them,” said Manh while doing a haircut.

Sitting on a plastic chair, Lu Thi Phung, 41, tenderly watched her 12-year-old twin children, Luu My Phuong and Luu Duc Phuoc, having their hair cut.

A mother gives a tender touch to her son's new haircut. Photo: Vu Thuy / Tien Phong

A mother gives a tender touch to her son’s new haircut. Photo: Vu Thuy / Tien Phong

“Their father passed away in August, so our lives are now bearing a heavier financial burden,” Phung shared, her eyes filled with sudden tears.

Phung’s family is not coming back to their hometown on the upcoming Tet holiday but has to stay in the city to make ends meet from their seasonal jobs.

Housewives who are in the same boat of losing husbands to the pandemic are chatting while waiting for their children. Photo: Vu Thuy / Tien Phong

Women who lost husbands to the COVID-19 pandemic are seen chatting while waiting for their children. Photo: Vu Thuy / Tien Phong

The 9-year-old Vo Le Ngoc Han, who lost her father and grandma during the pandemic, is sitting with her mother to wait for her turn. Photo: Vu Thuy / Tien Phong

Nine-year-old Vo Le Ngoc Han, who lost her father and grandma during the COVID-19 pandemic, is sitting with her mother to wait for her turn. Photo: Vu Thuy / Tien Phong

Do Van Tien and Nguyen Thanh Manh take pride in their meaningful job, offering free haircuts to children who lost their parents during the pandemic in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Vu Thuy / Tien Phong

Do Van Tien and Nguyen Thanh Manh take pride in their meaningful job, offering free haircuts to children who lost their parents during the pandemic in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Vu Thuy / Tien Phong

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20220124/saigons-mobile-barbershop-offers-free-haircuts-to-children-who-lost-parents-to-covid19/65396.html

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