Regarding the reason why COVID-19 has not been considered an endemic disease in Vietnam yet, the Ministry of Health said that most countries in the world are in a state of unstable cases and deaths, with an erratic increase and decrease trend when new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus appear. At the same time, acquired immunity (due to vaccines and infection) has not been stable for a long time and decreases over time.
In Vietnam, more than 9 million new cases were reported in the first seven months of this year, with over 33,000 cases in July alone, up 22.4% from June. Cases of sub variants BA.4, BA.5 have been recorded and began to account for a large proportion in southern provinces. Meanwhile, the rates of booster shot vaccination and vaccination among children were low in some localities.
The rise in new cases could cause overload of the health system, particularly in the context of other diseases such as influenza type A and dengue fever now entering peak season and the risk of new infectious diseases like monkeypox.
At the same time, it suggested step by step easing pandemic prevention and control measures in a flexible manner.
The ministry has also built plans to respond to different scenarios of COVID-19 in 2022 and 2023 based on the WHO’s Strategic preparedness and response plan for COVID-19.
It urged enhancing vigilance against new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and staying prepared to respond to any possible pandemic scenarios, along with accelerating the pace of vaccination of booster shots and basic doses for children from 5 to under 12 years old.