Vietnam Vaccination Effort Hampered by Shortages

A desire to ramp up vaccination is being stymied by a lack of available shots.

A desire to ramp up vaccination is being stymied by a lack of available shots.

For a large portion of the COVID-19 pandemic so far, Vietnam managed to keep its infections and deaths relatively low, only recording 35 deaths until this past April. Unfortunately, in April, due to the proliferation of the delta variant, Vietnam was suddenly hit hard with over 600,000 infections and over 15,000 deaths in just a few short months.

In response to this surge, the country has been trying to ramp up the vaccination effort. Since vaccination began in earnest in March, Vietnam has administer over 5.5 million doses of vaccine. About 80% of the adult population of the capital city of Hanoi have received at least one dose, and city officials are hoping to reach 100% by the end of this week. Unfortunately, the overall vaccination rate of Vietnam is still very low, with only 28% having received at least one shot and just 4% fully vaccinated.

The main problem is a shortage of available doses. In order to combat this, Vietnamese health officials have been given the go-ahead to mix and match vaccines from different manufacturers. Currently, Vietnam is using vaccines manufactured by AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Sinopharm. Even so, more than half of the country’s population remains on lockdown for pandemic safety, though the government is hoping to ease at least some of those lockdowns by the end of September.

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