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Saigon Expands Vaccination Campaign to All City Residents Over 18

Have you gotten a shot yet?

Nguoi Lao Dong reports that the Ho Chi Minh City government is now aiming to vaccinated two-thirds of all residents over the age of 18 by the end of this month. According to city officials, anyone living in Saigon in the age group can receive the vaccine no matter where their family register is based.

While doses will still be prioritized for people over the age of 65, frontline workers and a few other groups, the expansion of vaccine eligibility offers hope that the city's huge COVID-19 outbreak may turn a corner soon.

In order to achieve this goal, five million vaccine doses are needed, and there are two main sources: the Ministry of Health, which has worked with providers such as the COVAX facility and private companies such as Pfizer and AstraZeneca; and private donors.

In the latter category, this includes 1 million Vero Cell doses manufactured by China's Sinopharm which arrived over the weekend. These doses were purchased by the Saigon Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Sapharco).   

With the city's vaccination campaign finally accelerating, mobile vaccination teams are being sent into fully sealed-off areas so that residents can receive shots while still following local social distancing regulations.

At the same time, HCMC leadership has extended city-wide Directive 16 rules for another two weeks, adding on to the three weeks which residents have gone through.

The city has registered 96,292 community COVID-19 cases in this outbreak, largely over the last three weeks, though daily figures are starting to fall after weeks of social distancing.

[Photo via HCDC]