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Vietnam considers COVID-19 vaccinations for children over 5

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Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on December 5 asked the Ministry of Health and relevant agencies to examine the possibility of giving children aged 5 and above vaccine shots against COVID-19.

Vietnam considers COVID-19 vaccinations for children over 5

The vaccination for children must be carried out on the basis of scientific evidence, safety, and suitability with pandemic developments in Vietnam and the practice in other countries, he said at a meeting on COVID-19 vaccine and drug imports and production held in Hanoi on December 5.

The government leader noted that Vietnam has drastically implemented the vaccine strategy and achieved encouraging results. However, the latest developments of the outbreak domestically and globally, especially the resurgence of the mutated variant Omicron forced countries to reconsider COVID-19 prevention and control measures.

He requested localities to speed up COVID-19 vaccinations, including those for children of different age groups, and ensure a sufficient supply of medications for COVID-19 treatment.

All people aged 18 and above must receive their second vaccine shot by December at the latest, the PM ordered, adding immunization for children aged 12 – 17 should be accelerated while preparations for the third shot must be underway, with priority to be given to people aged 50 and older and frontline forces.

According to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu, the recent appearance of mutated variant Omicron in a number of countries and territories has made the pandemic more complicated and unpredictable. However, he said the protective efficacy of licensed vaccines remains high and vaccine manufacturers are continuing their research to further improve the protective efficacy of vaccines.

Amid Omicron threats, many countries have now reinstated drastic prevention measures and deployed the third vaccine shot campaign. More than 20 countries have inoculated children aged 3 – 11.

The World Health Organisation has recommended that the benefits of vaccination for children aged 3-11 outweigh the risks, however, priority should be given to the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.  

As of December 3, Vietnam had received more than 150 million doses of vaccines, of which nearly 71.5 million doses were imported and more than 79 million doses were donated by countries worldwide.

To date more than 127 million vaccine doses have been administered nationwide, with 54 million people getting their second shot.

Source: VOV

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/vietnam-considers-covid-19-vaccinations-for-children-over-5-798689.html

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More endangered gray-shanked douc langurs found in central Vietnam

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Nonprofits Save Vietnam’s Wildlife and GreenViet have recently found 10 herds of 104 endangered gray-shanked douc langurs after surveying ten forests in Ba To District in the central province of Quang Ngai.

“These are very rare douc langurs that need urgent conservation,” said Ngo Vinh Phong, head of the Quang Ngai Forest Protection Department.

They are included in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of threatened species.

In the world, the gray-shanked douc langur is only found in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, according to Tran Huu Vy, director of GreenViet. 

An endangered gray-shanked douc langur and its infant are seen in Ba To District, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang Quoc Huy / Tien Phong

An endangered gray-shanked douc langur and its offspring are seen in Ba To District, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang Quoc Huy / Tien Phong

In Vietnam, it is estimated that there are only 2,200 – 2,500 gray-shanked douc langurs in the wild, distributed in Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Phu Yen, Binh Dinh, Quang Nam, and Quang Ngai Provinces.

Vy and many experts are calling for the establishment of a nature reserve at the place where the 104 gray-shanked douc langurs were discovered in Ba To District.

The new reserve will border existing nature reserves in Gia Lai and Binh Dinh Provinces.

Endangered gray-shanked douc langurs are hunted in Ba To District, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Photo: T.M. / Tien Phong

Endangered gray-shanked douc langurs are hunted in Ba To District, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Photo: T.M. / Tien Phong

Reports showed that about 86 gray-shanked douc langurs were caught in the central and Central Highlands provinces in the 2010-20 period. 

In Ba To District, forest rangers caught a case of five gray-shanked douc langurs being hunted and launched legal proceedings against the people involved.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20221202/more-endangered-grayshanked-douc-langurs-found-in-central-vietnam/70279.html

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Ho Chi Minh City’s sky turns gray due to air pollution

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The sky of Ho Chi Minh City had a dull gray color with a thick layer of gloomy mist as air pollution worsened on Thursday morning, according to experts.

Many buildings and skyscrapers were covered by the leaden mist around 9:00 am and 10:00 am as observed by Tien Phong (Youth) newspaper.

The foggy, murky weather often occurs in the southern region in the year-end season, the experts said.

This image shows the gloomy sky of the eastern area of Ho Chi Minh City on December 1, 2022. Photo: Le Phan / Tien Phong

This image shows the gloomy sky of the eastern area of Ho Chi Minh City on December 1, 2022. Photo: Le Phan / Tien Phong

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Natural Resources and Environment called this phenomenon photochemical smog, a term used to describe a form of air pollution that occurs in the troposphere and is caused by sunlight acting on emissions.

Compounds created from this procedure are harmful to human health and reduce visibility.

This image shows the gloomy sky in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City on December 1, 2022. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

This image shows the gloomy sky in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City on December 1, 2022. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

Monitoring results from November 14 to 20 showed that 42.9 percent of the total suspended particulate (TSP) values, all noise indicators, and 9.5 percent of the fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) indicators did not meet requirements.

This image shows the gloomy sky in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City on December 1, 2022. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

This image shows the gloomy sky in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City on December 1, 2022. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

Meanwhile, Le Thi Xuan Lan, former deputy head of the southern hydro-meteorological station, who calls the phenomenon ‘dust-mixed smog,’ explained that as the rainy season has not ended yet, humidity remains high in Ho Chi Minh City.

“Suspended dust clings to water vapor, so we can see it more clearly,” Lan said. 

“This is a sign of air pollution.”

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20221201/ho-chi-minh-citys-sky-turns-gray-due-to-air-pollution/70281.html

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Ho Chi Minh City to conduct test run of first metro line’s elevated section this month

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Ho Chi Minh City is expected to conduct a test run along the elevated section of its first metro line later this month, according to secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Van Nen.

During a meeting on Wednesday, Nen directed relevant agencies to speed up and put into use key projects, especially the long-stalled metro line No. 1.

According to the report of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, the metro line project is now 92.89 percent complete.

The developer and contractor are expected to conduct the trial run of the elevated section from Suoi Tien Terminal to Binh Thai Station in late December.

In late January, the developer will carry out the trial operation of the elevated section along with the automatic train protection (ATP), automatic train operation (ATO), and automatic train supervision (ATS) systems.

The developer will strive to complete the installation of equipment on the entire route by April.

The trial operation of the entire route is expected to take place in August, while the project will come on stream by the end of 2023.

Metro line No. 1 is 19.7 kilometers long, including 2.6 kilometers of underground railways and 17.1 kilometers of elevated tracks.

It runs from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Suoi Tien Theme Park in Thu Duc City through three underground stations and 11 stops above the ground.

The line has 17 trains, each consisting of three cars and designed to run at up to 110 kilometers per hour above the ground and 80 kilometers per hour underground.

Each Japanese-manufactured train is 61.5 meters long and can carry 930 passengers, including 147 seating and 783 standing guests.

The metro project, which started in August 2012, carries a price tag of VND43.7 trillion (US$1.9 billion).

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20221201/ho-chi-minh-city-to-conduct-test-run-of-first-metro-lines-elevated-section-this-month/70282.html

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