Vietnam’s COVID-19 Third Wave Flattens, Citizens To Get Vaccines For Free Starting With Frontliners

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COVID-19 update, 24th February 2021

It’s been nearly a month since a massive COVID-19 cluster of 82 new community transmissions was discovered in the northern Vietnamese provinces of Hải Dương and Quảng Ninh on January 28th, marking the beginning of Vietnam’s third COVID-19 wave. And while we’re still seeing reports of new patients on a daily basis, the curve has been showing signs of flattening thanks to insistent efforts from authorities.

Moving forward, Vietnam expects to receive nearly 4,900,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX), and the Ministry of Health has issued guidelines on how the vaccine will be distributed.

2 new cases and 43 recoveries this morning

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)
Image credit: Thông Tấn Xã Việt Nam

In its daily update early this morning, the Ministry of Health has reported only 2 more COVID-19 community infections. Both of these are associated with the Poyun Electronics Company in Chí Linh City, Hải Dương Province, a major cluster that’s been contained since the beginning of the third wave. This means today is the third day in which the number of new patients has been kept to single digits.

The morning report also brought us another piece of good news: 43 previous patients have been declared recovered.

With the latest numbers, Vietnam’s total COVID-19 patient tally since the beginning of the pandemic is currently sitting at 2,403, of whom 1,760 have recovered and 604 are still receiving treatment.

Among the remaining patients, 87 have tested negative for the virus once, 39 have tested negative twice, and 60 have tested negative 3 times in a row.

11 groups prioritized to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Photo for illustrative purposes only

Image credit: Vietnam Government Portal

Back in December 2020, Vietnam was officially recognized as a participant of COVAX, a WHO initiative aimed at providing access to COVID-19 vaccines. According to the program, Vietnam is expected to receive 4,886,600 doses of the vaccine in the first half of 2021, and the Ministry of Health has issued guidelines stating how the vaccine will be distributed.

The guideline lists out 11 groups of people who will be prioritized to receive the vaccine, because they face increased risks of infection. According to the ministry’s statement, 600,000 medical staff and other frontline workers will be vaccinated in the first quarter of 2021, while 5 other groups including diplomatic officers, customs officers, military personnel, police officers, and teachers will receive the vaccine in the second quarter.

Other high-risk groups such as the elderly, people with chronic diseases, and essential service providers can expect to receive their shots in the second half of the year.

The first batch of COVID-19 vaccine from COVAX arriving in Vietnam this morning

Image credit: Sức Khỏe Việt Nam

According to the Ministry of Health, Vietnam aims to have 20% of the population vaccinated by 2022, with a long-term goal of achieving herd immunity with an 80% vaccination rate.

During a meeting yesterday morning, the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control reportedly stated that once there’s enough supply, the vaccine can be included in mass vaccination programs that citizens can access for free.

Aside from the vaccine provided by COVAX, Vietnam’s own developed vaccine prototype, called Nanocovax, will be entering the second phase of testing on volunteers this Friday.

COVID-19 in Vietnam, update on 24th February

It is a good sign that we’re seeing fewer new COVID-19 cases in the past few days, but there are still concerning reports of irresponsible individuals neglecting to report to medical authorities despite having traveled to infected areas. As such, it is now more important than ever that we each do our part to protect the community.

With mass vaccination likely still a while away, the best thing we can do for now is to stay put and do our best to adhere to the government’s disease prevention guidelines.

If you must travel, be sure to head over to to declare your travel schedule, and of course, if you’ve been to high-risk spots recently, contact the nearest medical authorities to be instructed on the best course of action.

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Cover image adapted from Thông Tấn Xã Việt Nam and Vietnam Government Portal. For illustrative purposes only.

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