HANOI: Vietnam will offer the coronavirus vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech as a second dose option for people first inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, the government said on Tuesday (Jul 13).
Vietnam’s mass inoculation campaign is in its early stages, with fewer than 300,000 people fully vaccinated so far. It has so far used AstraZeneca’s viral vector vaccine and last week took delivery of 97,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA shot.
“Pfizer vaccines will be prioritised for people who were given first shot of AstraZeneca 8-12 weeks before,” the government said in a statement.
READ: WHO warns against mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines
Several countries, including Canada, Spain and South Korea, have already approved such dose-mixing mainly due to concerns about rare and potentially fatal blood clots linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
A Spanish study found the Pfizer-AstraZeneca combination was highly safe and effective, according to preliminary results.
But the World Health Organization’s chief scientist advised on Monday against mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines, calling it a “dangerous trend” since there was little data available about the health impact.
Vietnam has been trying to expedite its vaccination campaign as the pace of infections grow. Prior to May 2021, it had recorded less than 3,000 coronavirus cases in total.
READ: Japan to provide millions more COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan, Asian neighbours
Vietnam said on Tuesday it would soon receive 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine donated by Australia.
Vietnam also said on Tuesday it would receive an additional batch of one million AstraZeneca doses from Japan this week.
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