Vietnam OKs AstraZeneca vaccine, cuts short Communist Party congress


This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Vietnam OKs AstraZeneca vaccine, cuts short Communist Party congress

COVID-19 IN VIETNAM. A couple walks wearing protective face masks amid the COVID-19 outbreak on a street in Hanoi, Vietnam, January 29, 2021.

Photo by Thanh Hue/Reuters

(3RD UPDATE) This is the biggest flare-up of COVID-19 the country has seen since the disease was first detected

Vietnam approved its first vaccine for the new coronavirus and cut short a key ruling Communist Party meeting on Saturday, January 30, as it battled its biggest flare-up yet of COVID-19, state media reported.

The new outbreak, in a country of some 98 million people that has been highly successful in curbing the spread of the pandemic, began on Thursday and has spread to Hanoi, where the ruling party is holding its five-yearly congress to pick a new leadership.

Thanks to targeted mass testing and a centralized quarantine program, Vietnam has recorded just 1,739 cases since the disease was detected a year ago, including 873 locally transmitted infections, according to official data.

Authorities rushed to test tens of thousands after the health ministry reported two locally transmitted cases on Thursday, one of whom was exposed to a person who had tested positive in Japan for the more contagious B.1.1.7 UK variant.

Most of the new cases were in the northern province of Hai Duong, where 2,340 factory workers have been isolated after one employee came into contact with the person who tested positive for the disease upon arrival in Japan in mid-January.

The health ministry reported 32 new infections in Hai Duong, and two in neighbouring Quang Ninh province, bringing the number of fresh cases in the current outbreak to 180.

Late on Friday, January 29, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Vietnam must have a vaccine in the first quarter.

Following Phuc’s comments, the health ministry approved the vaccine from AstraZeneca PLC for domestic inoculation, the government said on Saturday. The government had previously said it was in talks to procure 30 million doses of the vaccine.

The port city of Haiphong, where a case linked to the new outbreak has been detected, also said it would separately seek to secure 2 million vaccine doses for the city’s population.

State media said on Saturday the congress would end on Monday, a day earlier than planned. The reports did not say why. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI