Covid-19 might recur if people neglect vaccination: Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam

SGGP
According to Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, thanks to Covid-19 vaccines, the disease has been controlled, making people subjective, so the injection of the third and fourth doses tends to slow down. Although the number of new Covid-19 cases has decreased, the risk that the Covid-19 pandemic recurs still lingers if people are reluctant to get vaccinated.

Covid-19 might recur if people neglect vaccination: Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam ảnh 1 Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam inspects the treatment of dengue fever at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases. (Photo: SGGP)
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam made a field trip with his delegation to inspect the prevention of dengue fever and vaccination against Covid-19 in Ho Chi Minh City on June 30, accompanied by Standing Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen and Vice Chairwoman of HCMC People's Committee Phan Thi Thang.

Dengue fever cases increased by 172.5 percent

MD-Dr. Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, Deputy Director of the Department of Health of HCMC, informed that by June 29, the cumulative number of dengue cases in the city was 20,952, an increase of 172.5 percent compared to the same period last year, including ten deaths. Districts with high dengue cases include Binh Tan, Binh Chanh, District 12, Hoc Mon, Thu Duc City, Cu Chi, and Tan Phu.

It is because the work of killing mosquito larvae and mosquitoes has not become a habit in people's awareness and actions. Besides the ineffective propaganda, violation sanctioning in dengue fever prevention and control still has many shortcomings.

Most localities do not fine or are unable to fine violated individuals and groups. From 2015 to 2021, around 1,547 sanctioning decisions were issued, but in the first six months of 2022, only nine were made citywide.

In the context that the dengue fever epidemic is increasing rapidly and might break widely and to improve the effectiveness of treatment at medical facilities in the city, the HCMC Medical Association together with the City Children's Hospital, Children’s Hospital 2, and Hospital for Tropical Diseases, organized training courses to update diagnosis and treatment for dengue fever to doctors and medical staff involved in diagnosis and treatment at health centers in districts and Thu Duc City and public and private medical examination and treatment facilities.

Up to now, there are 15 training courses with about 3,600 doctors and nurses attending.

Covid-19 might recur if people neglect vaccination: Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam ảnh 2 Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam and Vice Chairwoman of HCMC People's Committee Phan Thi Thang discuss with a doctor of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases about the treatment of dengue fever. (Photo: SGGP)
Regarding the Covid-19 vaccination, MD-Dr. Nguyen Van Vinh Chau said that, so far, HCMC had received more than 20.4 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from the Ministry of Health (MoH). Currently, the number of vaccines in stock is more than 490,500 doses which the MoH will not receive back. Because the rate of people vaccinated against Covid-19 remained low, on June 14, HCMC implemented the peak month for Covid-19 vaccination, so the number of people vaccinated was higher.

Channeling and routing of dengue fever treatment yet to be effective

Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen said that the problem of channeling and routing dengue fever treatment in the Southern provinces had not been effective yet. Up to 50 percent of severe cases treated at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases were transferred from lower-level medical centers. Sending too many patients to the upper level has caused last-line hospitals to be overloaded, not respond to treatment, and lead to a risk of cross-infection at medical facilities.

In addition, as for vaccination work, the Standing Deputy Minister of Health requested HCMC review vaccination subjects, especially those at risk, such as old and people with chronic diseases. Health workers need to go from door to door to mobilize people to get the Covid-19 vaccines.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said the dengue fever epidemic came early this year. Although it has not reached its peak, the number of infections surpassed the peak in previous years. HCMC had deployed many campaigns to prevent dengue fever and clean up, but the city must do it continuously, not just once.

The Deputy Prime Minister asked the MoH to review why the rate of dengue fever patients transferred to upper-level hospitals is so high; whether there is a shortage of drugs and medical supplies at the lower-level medical centers. If there is a shortage of medicines or medical supplies, it must be dealt with immediately because patients cannot wait.

Acknowledging that the rate of Covid-19 booster vaccination is still low, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said that the reason was that the propaganda was not actually effective. “A year ago, when vaccines were scarce, the death toll rose to thousands of people. Thanks to Covid-19 vaccines, the disease has been controlled, making people subjective, so the injection of the third and fourth doses tends to slow down. Although the number of new Covid-19 cases has decreased, the risk that the Covid-19 pandemic recurs still lingers if people neglect vaccination,” the Deputy Prime Minister emphasized.

He requested that the HCMC health sector need to strengthen propaganda so that people understand that vaccination is not only to protect their health but also the community. The propaganda work needs to go deeply and closely to listen to the concerns and thoughts of people, thereby giving advice and answers so that people understand and agree.

Previously, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam inspected the dengue fever epidemic prevention and control in Ward 5 of District 8 and the dengue fever treatment at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in HCMC.

On the morning of June 30, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam registered for the fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases. "I am over 50 years old this year and need to be vaccinated with the fourth dose. I get Covid-19 injections not only to protect myself but also many others," Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said.

Covid-19 might recur if people neglect vaccination: Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam ảnh 3 Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam receives his fourth Covid-19 dose at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases on June 30. (Photo: SGGP)
"The Department of Health of HCMC needs to identify the extent of the shortage of drugs and medical supplies. Health workers must explain to people that drugs can be replaced by others with the same active ingredient to avoid making people panic. The most important thing is people’s trust in the health sector," said Ms. Phan Thi Thang, Vice Chairwoman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee.

By Thanh Son – Translated by Da Nguyet

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