Ensuring people’s life safety & health is Government's first, foremost task in facing COVID-19 pandemic

Since its election by the 14th National Assembly in April 2021, the Government has experienced an unprecedented year full of challenges in the 36 years of Doi Moi (Reform). However, with reasonable decisions and policies adopted in different periods, the Government has firmly sailed through the tough year, recovering economic activities and ensuring social welfare.

Thanks to drastic measures, Viet Nam’s universal COVID-10 vaccination strategy made a milestone on April 14 when the northern province of Quang Ninh became the first locality nationwide to administer the vaccines for sixth graders, commencing the inoculation for children aged from 5 to below 12. Viet Nam’s vaccination for the youngest age group is a pragmatic move to control the pandemic and protect public health, as the Government has been resolved to do over the past time.

Viet Nam has become one of the six countries with the highest vaccine coverage in the world. (Photo: VNA)

The pandemic has gradually been brought under control and socio-economic activities have returned to near normal in Viet Nam. However, the Government has continued with vaccine diplomacy for the health of the people, especially the younger generations.

Since the beginning of the new tenure, the Government has encountered an array of huge challenges, particularly those caused by COVID-19, that are severely affecting socio-economic activities.

Given this, under the leadership of the Party headed by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, the Government and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, together with the entire political system, have fulfilled many of their major tasks, including unexpected and unprecedented ones like achieving the “dual goals” of pandemic containment and economic recovery, with ensuring people’s life safety and health as the first and foremost task.

In vaccine diplomacy – the decisive spearhead of the strategy, PM Chinh signed Decision No. 1399/QD-TTg dated August 13, 2021, on the establishment of the Government’s working group on vaccine diplomacy, led by the Foreign Minister and staffed by representatives from the Government Office, and the ministries of foreign affairs, health, national defense, public security, industry and trade, science and technology.

The formation of the working group is important as it further demonstrates the consistent guidelines of the Party and the State of putting people’s health first and foremost, maximizing domestic and international resources to drive back the pandemic, and bringing socio-economic activities and people’s life back to normal as soon as possible. It also proves the Government’s strong determination to roll back the pandemic.

With a high sense of responsibility, the group has worked hard to call for donations from international partners and organizations, boost cooperation in COVID-19 vaccine production as well as the transfer of production technologies, medicines and medical equipment in the pandemic fight so as to soon reach universal vaccination.

The Government has also urged partners to hand over vaccines to Viet Nam on or before the schedule, and checked foreign partners and verified information about the capacity to supply vaccines, medicines and medical equipment of those with whom Viet Nam may set up partnerships.

To drastically implement the Prime Minister’s instructions, with a high sense of responsibility, the group in coordination with agencies and sectors has promptly carried out vaccine diplomacy activities, and reaped significant outcomes.

The Ministry of Health said Viet Nam has received 232.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far, of which more than 51 million doses have arrived in the Southeast Asian nation through the COVAX Facility, and over 26 million others are from the US Government. The Australian Government has also committed some 13.7 million doses for children from five to below 12 years old.

Viet Nam’s vaccination for the youngest age group is a pragmatic move to control the pandemic and protect public health. (Photo: VNA)

Thanks to those efforts, more than 212.6 million doses have been administered, with 194.6 million for people above 18 years old, more than 17.3 million for those from 12 to 17, and 667,900 for the youngest age group in 45 cities and provinces nationwide.

The unprecedented success of the vaccine diplomacy strategy has turned Viet Nam into one of the six countries with the highest vaccine coverage in the world, and led to a sharp decline in fatalities.

It is also an important factor for Viet Nam to shift from the “zero COVID” policy to another on safely and flexibly adapting to and effectively controlling COVID-19 as set in Resolution No. 128/NQ-CP issued by the Government.

The success, along with the Government’s timely issuance of the resolution, has played a role in national economic recovery. The “dual goals” have seen initial results.

The Government has firmly sailed through an unprecedented pandemic storm over the past. More importantly, the humane goal of ensuring health for each citizen has been realized.

Despite various challenges ahead in the recovery journey, thanks to outcomes of the vaccine strategy, people have been increasingly confident in and supported major policies on socio-economic development adopted by the Government which take the people as the centre and target of sustainable development.