AstraZeneca vaccine side effects within safe limits
Prof Dang Duc Anh said the rate of people with severe side effects after being injected with AstraZeneca vaccine in Vietnam is still within a safe limit.
Since March 8, 11,605 people in 12 provinces in Vietnam have received the AstraZeneca vaccine. At least 14 cases of anaphylaxis (reaction from severe allergy) of level 2-3 after vaccination have been recorded. The latest case of anaphylaxis of level 3 was announced on March 15.
VietNamNet spoke with Prof. Dang Duc Anh, Director of National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, and Head of the Immunization Project Executive Board, about the vaccination and the safety of AstraZeneca vaccine in Vietnam.
Prof. Dang Duc Anh. Photo: Thuy Hanh
- Vietnam has just recorded a case of level-3 anaphylaxis after the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Does this person have any special underlying disease or allergy?
All people who get Covid-19 vaccine are examined very carefully. This person had been examined and asked for medical history before the vaccination, but there was no specific information about any underlying medical problem yet.
We have recommended provinces to continue monitoring to detect more specific causes.
Is the rate of anaphylaxis from AstraZeneca vaccine in Vietnam higher than other countries?
- After the first week of vaccination, 26% of vaccinated people had common reactions, 0.7% had severe reactions. Compared to other countries, is the rate of side effects after Covid-19 vaccination Vietnam higher?
Vietnam is still monitoring data from other countries. Different vaccines have different rates of side effects. The rate of side effects in Vietnam is generally within the limits recommended by the manufacturer as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) and other agencies responsible for the evaluation of the safety and efficacy of vaccines.
This is the first time that Vietnam as well as many other countries have used Covid-19 vaccines. So we must both vaccinate and evaluate safety and continue to monitor safety reporting data in countries where the AstraZeneca vaccine is used.
- In the current context, how can we achieve fast and safe vaccination?
Not only AstraZeneca vaccines, most other vaccines have side effects, with a certain rate. It is important to monitor and evaluate after vaccination. The Ministry of Health has asked all localities to report cases of post-vaccination reactions, so a professional council can assess the cause.
Currently, WHO and other specialized agencies still recommend that countries continue to vaccinate, considering the benefits and the risks. To date, there has been no evidence of a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and cases of blood clots.
Vietnam continues to vaccinate as planned.
- What is Vietnam’s plan for the first batch of vaccines and what is the vaccination plan for the next year?
Vietnam has just used more than 11,000 doses, accounting for 1/10 of the first 117,000 doses we have received. It is scheduled that the remaining doses will be used from now until the end of March.
From now to April, Vietnam will receive an additional 4.1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from COVAX and other suppliers. The vaccine will be used for the next priority subjects, under the Government’s Resolution 21.
Vietnam's plan is to have 150 million doses this year. We are implementing this step by step, depending on the number of vaccines imported.
Many health-care workers have experienced side effects following Covid-19 vaccinations but most of these have been mild.