Thứ Hai, Tháng Một 17, 2022

Booster shots and medicines to lower COVID-19 mortality rate in Việt Nam: Health ministry

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A severely ill COVID-19 being treated at the Intensive Care Centre of the Ministry of Health. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — As cases continue to rise again across the country, priority will be given to providing a third ‘booster’ vaccine to those aged over 50 or with immunodeficiency, in an attempt to bring down the death rate from COVID-19 across the country.

Discussing the high number of COVID-19 deaths that still happen despite a high vaccination percentage among adults currently in the country, Deputy Minister Đỗ Xuân Tuyên stated Việt Nam’s death rate has remained low compared to other countries.

He said the Ministry of Health has assigned the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment and health departments in localities to assess specific causes of deaths.

“We initially determined that the fatal cases of COVID-19 mainly occurred in the group of people with underlying diseases, chronic diseases or the elderly with declining health,” he said.

Tuyên said the ministry has outlined a strategy to reduce the mortality rate among COVID-19 patients. The ministry will access treatment medicines that are being researched and in circulation, bringing them to Việt Nam for the treatment of critically ill patients.

The ministry will give booster shots for high-risk age groups and categories, and complete the first dose for adults who have not yet received it. People with mild symptoms will be treated at home while severe patients will continue to be hospitalised for treatment.

The mortality rate will decrease thanks to COVID-19 medicines brought to Việt Nam in accordance with the guidance of international and domestic professional agencies, he said.

Việt Nam has put into use many types of medicines that inhibit viral replication, such as Molnupiravir, Remdesivir and Favipiravir.

Other medicines such as immunosuppressive medicines, anticoagulants, antibiotics, antifungals and herbal medicines have also been used.

Six domestic factories have applied to register medicines to treat COVID-19. If approved and licensed, they could produce at least one million doses of Molnupiravir, an oral COVID-19 antiviral medicine, per day.

Regarding the assessment of antibodies after vaccination against COVID-19, Tuyên confirmed that the ministry has assigned institutes to research and evaluate this issue since the beginning of the pandemic.

The ministry has asked that their research be published soon along with the results on cases of vaccination or infection with COVID-19.

Figures from the ministry on Wednesday show that the average death rate over the last seven days stands at 204. The total number of COVID-19 fatalities in Việt Nam since the start of the pandemic is 26,930, accounting for 2 per cent compared to the total infections.

As of Thursday, Việt Nam has administered over 130 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with 123 million doses given to the adult population.

The percentage of the adult population that has received one dose stands at 96.3 per cent; 76 per cent have received two doses.

Only the two northern mountainous localities of Hà Giang and Cao Bằng have the first-dose coverage of lower than 80 per cent in their adult populations.

So far, 55 out of 63 localities have begun vaccinating children aged 12-17 and 6.2 million doses have already been administered. Of these, 5.08 million were first doses and 1.17 million second doses. — VNS

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