September 15, 2022
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính yesterday emphasised the important role vaccination plays in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, arguing that “prevention is better than cure.”
Chairing the 17th meeting of the National Steering Committee for the COVID-19 Prevention and Control, Chính said that the nation must not forget the lessons learnt when Việt Nam had difficulties accessing vaccines.
When vaccine supplies were limited globally and Việt Nam did not have sufficient experience and healthcare capacity in COVID-19 prevention and control, the country had to impose measures such as social distancing that negatively affected socio-economic activities.
“The pandemic is under control in Việt Nam now, but it still develops complicatedly and unpredictably because of new virus variants and the vaccine’s declined protective effectiveness over time,” he said.
New, common and seasonal diseases pose a high risk of concurrency of diseases, Chính added, noting that people tended to be negligent to preventive measures when seeing the pandemic being controlled.
The PM requested that people’s lives and health remain a top priority and at the centre of pandemic prevention and control.
Early prevention at a grassroots level is required, Chính said, adding that it was necessary to reach every alley and knock on all doors to make people get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Localities must synchronously implement solutions to ensure security, recovery and socio-economic development.
The PM assigned the Ministry of Health to monitor the situation closely and review and update measures to prevent and control the pandemic.
“Any unit where the pandemic re-emerges due to subjective causes must be responsible to the Party, State and people,” Chính said.
The Ministry of Health was asked to continue reviewing and directing the vaccination to ensure safety and effectiveness.
Localities and agencies were asked to strengthen communication and call for people to get vaccinated.
Chính praised localities with high vaccination rates and reminded localities with low vaccination rates to make amends.
He asked the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Information and Communications, relevant localities, agencies and units to standardise vaccination data based on a national database on population.
Provinces and cities with low vaccination rates must review and clarify the causes for not completing the vaccination.
The Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Finance, and the People’s Committees of provinces and centrally-run cities have been asked to take measures to ensure enough medical supplies, drugs and equipment for medical examination and treatment and especially for the prevention and control of the COVID-19.
According to the Acting Minister of Health Đào Hồng Lan, the COVID-19 pandemic is forecasted to have unpredictable developments in the future.
The World Health Organization (WHO) assesses that the world is still in a pandemic phase and warns about new variants of SARS-CoV-2 that can make the COVID-19 pandemic more complicated, with the number of cases increasing again.
Vaccines are still an important measure in COVID-19 prevention and control.
In Việt Nam, 72,324 cases were reported last month, an increase of 2.4 times compared to July 2022.
Last month, 24 deaths relating to COVID-19 were reported, 18 cases higher than the previous month. Cases of the sub-variants BA.4, BA.5, and BA.2.74 were recorded in the community, with BA.5 coming to dominate among the cases.
Between September 5 and September 11, Việt Nam recorded around 2,900 new cases per day, with 3,878 cases on September 7, the highest in nearly four months.
The number of new cases, severe cases, and deaths has increased, Lan said, adding that the number of hospitalisations in August increased by 330 per cent compared to July. The number of severe and critical cases requiring oxygen increased by 316 per cent.
Around 35 per cent of severe cases and deaths are among those unvaccinated or yet to get fully vaccinated.