VOV.VN – Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long has emphasised the necessity of raising public awareness regarding COVID-19 prevention measures, amid complicated and unpredictable developments, with many localities remaining apathetic about countermeasures.
Minister Long is the first cabinet member to respond to questions regarding pandemic prevention and control measures in recent times at a National Assembly (NA) question-&-answer (Q&A) session held on November 10. Queries raised during the course of the event include the vaccine strategy in the near future and management of prices for COVID-19 tests, medical equipment, and biological products.
The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, with many countries forced to adjust their policies to adapt to the ongoing situation and live safely with the virus. Based on the vaccination rate and ever-changing pandemic developments, a range of appropriate countermeasures have been enforced. It is therefore necessary to ensure flexible isolation and safety in areas that have a high population density and a large number of returnees from pandemic-hit localities, the Minister said.
Asked about the local vaccine strategy, the Minister affirmed that the nation’s vaccine strategy has been successful. In line with the direction of the Government, the country has synchronously and successfully implemented a vaccine strategy through vaccine purchases and donations.
The country has also secured contracts and agreements for approximately 200 million vaccine doses, with the figure expected to further increase in the near future.
It has also promoted vaccine diplomacy in order to increase access to vaccines.
Domestic units have also carried out vaccine autonomy through research and technology transfer, with domestically-produced vaccines likely to be licensed for use soon.
Furthermore, the vaccination campaign has been conducted on the largest scale ever, with roughly 94 million people being inoculated.
Minister Long also confirmed that the quantity of vaccines is guaranteed to be enough for people aged 18 and over, as well as for children from 12 years old, to receive two doses, with the booster shot being deployed later this year.
Concerning the shortage of human resources within the health sector, especially high-quality medical staff, Minister Long stated that the Health Ministry has always strived to ensure a supply of medical human resources to keep Vietnamese healthcare standards up with other modern healthcare systems worldwide.
The nation has devised solutions to attract human resources to work in public health facilities, such as preferential and special allowances.
The Ministry will also propose reforming the salary system so that doctors and healthcare workers feel more secure to work in the public health sector.
Discussing issues relating to COVID-19 test kits, Minister Long said the country is one of the four nation to have successfully isolated the virus and sequenced its genes.
This comes as the Ministry has invested in the production of biological products, including test kits, and supports the promotion of rapid antigen test production. Currently, the nation has two units producing test kits that have been transferred from abroad, with the primary purpose of ensuring sufficient supply of test kits, Minister Long added.
The same day saw Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, Ministers of: Public Security, Planning and Investment, Finance, Information and Communication, Science and Technology, the Government Inspector General and the State Auditor General participate in the Q&A session, responding to issues relating to their management and responsibilities.
The session, also the first of its kind held by the 15th legislature, is set to last for two and a half days, with a focus on issues regarding health care; labour, invalids and social affairs, education and training, and planning and investment.