Update: 11:51 | 19/06/2021
HCMC on Saturday morning launched a vaccination campaign against Covid-19, inoculating 500 employees of a tech company in Thu Duc City.
For this campaign, which is the biggest in the city and the nation's history, HCMC plans to administer 836,000 doses of the AstraZeneca's vaccine in five to seven days. They are part of the 966,320 doses provided by Japan Wednesday.
The first to receive the vaccine are 500 employees of FPT Software in the Saigon Hi-Tech Park in Thu Duc City.
An staff of FPT Software is injected with AstraZeneca's vaccine.
Nguyen Thi Hong, 30, one of the employees, said she has been nervous since the previous night, but she believes the vaccine will help her reduce the risk of getting infected. "I have prepared fever killers and as it's Sunday tomorrow, I can rest and any side effects from the vaccine will not affect my work," she said.
Pham Dang Khoa, 36, said he was informed of the vaccination program for FPT Software employees on Friday and was willingly to enlist himself.
"I usually have to travel for business so getting the jab will make me feel more secured. I wish that people around me will soon get access to vaccines so that we could reach the herd immunity," he said.
Nguyen Huu Hung, deputy director of the city's Health Department, said the city will run 650 vaccination stations to inject 200,000 doses each day so that it could complete using the batch of 836,000 doses by June 27.
Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh said at the vaccination event: "The number of vaccines distributed in this phase only meets the demand of a part of the 2.3 million people in priority groups in HCMC.
"Thus top priority will be given to workers in industrial parks, export processing zones and industrial zones, and police officers and military personnel."
For the ongoing wave of Covid-19 which started in late April, HCMC has recorded more than 1,300 cases, standing third among affected localities.
"This is by far the most complicated, unpredictable battle against the pandemic that HCMC has faced, as infections are caused by the variants of coronavirus, which are stronger and more transmissible than previous ones, leaving more adverse impacts on the public health and social welfare of the city," Binh said.
Hung said HCMC is rushing negotiations to buy Covid-19 vaccines so that by the end of this year, two-thirds of the city's residents will be vaccinated. "We will carefully screen and monitor the health conditions of those subjected to vaccination to ensure safety," he said.
HCMC, home to 13 million people including migrants, has vaccinated 70,000 against the coronavirus, and 30,000 have fully got two doses, mostly frontline medical staff.