Variable delta outbreak challenges COVID-19 response strategy in Vietnam


Vietnam’s response to COVID-19 has been one of Most effective In the world. The record relatively low number of cases and deaths and its impressive economic performance during the global pandemic have boosted the country’s reputation internationally. The good economic performance boosted the confidence of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) just as it was going through Driving change. a The study was conducted Among the 23 countries in May 2020, Vietnamese respondents revealed that they had the second highest level of satisfaction after China, with 77% rating positively their government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. 2020 was also a crucial year for Vietnamese politics, due to the country’s important diplomatic roles as president of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and because of the role every five. Congress Party years in early 2021. Moreover, the Thirteenth Party Congress It was one of the most important since 1986, when the country embarked on a transformation Doi Moi repairs The renewal that occurs amid political infighting and generational change within the party.

But with the recent rise in the delta variable, combined with shockingly low vaccination rates, public opinion about Vietnam’s performance has begun to wane.

Like many countries in the region, Vietnam is struggling to contain the spread of the variant, which first arrived in late April 2021. Before the arrival of the Delta, the country had recorded less than 3,000 cases and 35 deaths over the 15 months since the pandemic began in January 2020. But by July 2021, the number of new cases rises to the thousands per day and is becoming increasingly difficult to control. the the above (So ​​far) a one-day record of 9,684 cases on August 8, which is four times the number of all cases together in Vietnam in the whole of 2020. The total number of cases now stands at 220,000 and 3,757 have died, a large number of which passed in July 2021. This shows how severe the delta boom can be.

Vietnamese authorities are struggling to contain the current spread using the methods they have used before, isolation and surveillance. The numerous outbreaks occurred in 63 local locations, but the largest clusters were in Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring provinces which are the economic and industrial hub of the country and relatively densely populated areas. The lockdowns imposed since July are affecting the jobs and livelihoods of many Vietnamese, and putting pressure on the country Industrial productionaffecting global supply chains. Giants of the apparel, footwear and electronic industries, such as Adidas, Nike and Apple, are worrying about their supplies and pricing as Delta Wave continues to challenge Vietnam.

Why is the previous state’s effective strategy not adapted?

One reason is that the delta variant shows a completely different transmission pattern than previous breeds. Another reason is the slow introduction of the vaccine in Vietnam, which can be attributed to a combination of factors.

The government has shown a level of complacency – a common trap suffered by many countries that had initial successes in containing the virus, including Australia, Taiwan and New Zealand. Lack of urgency due to low infection rates prior to the arrival of the delta variant slowed Vietnam in securing vaccine supplies. Vaccine shortages, especially for less developed countries, have prolonged the vaccination process in Vietnam. Due to the spread of the delta variant in India and its arrival in Vietnam, the CPV was still undergoing a leadership transition. The party’s thirteenth congress concluded in early February, but ministerial positions were not appointed until May and June when the National Assembly held its vote. This transition of power arguably distracts from and prolongs the vaccine-buying campaign amid global demand.

The authorities also thought they could bear to wait for development Sweetened COVID-19 vaccines, with four in the works: Nanocovax by Nanogen, Covivac by the Institute of Vaccines and Biologicals (IVAC), and two more from the No. 1 Vaccine and Biologics Company (Vabiotech) and the Research Center and Production of Vaccines and Biologics. Nanocovax, which has passed three phases of human trials, is expected to receive emergency approval soon and will be available by late this year.

Vietnam is not alone in suffering from a shortage of vaccines. Indeed, the case of Vietnam illustrates the difficulties of combating the epidemic with limited resources. Strong governance can help control spread, but when it comes to later response phases, resources are essential to secure vaccines. Like most developing countries, Vietnam lags behind developed countries that were able to secure vaccines earlier and are in more advanced stages of immunization.

When the pandemic began, most international debate focused on which regimes were most effective in containing the virus: authoritarian regimes or democracies. Despite the problematic framing of this debate, the 2020 pandemic has demonstrated the effectiveness of more centralized governments that have more power and also enjoy the trust of their people. However, beyond the ability to “flatten the curve” is the ability of governments to vaccinate their populations. The 2021 pandemic shows that the real divide is between the “haves” and “have-nots”. While the developed countries are leading in vaccination, some have even moved to “booster shotsMany in the developing world still suffer from a shortage of vaccines.

Vaccines also became a vector for great power competition, so donations became an important source. Vietnam is among the low-income countries that, relatively compared to their Southeast Asian counterparts, have received less foreign aid. Indonesia, the Philippines and Cambodia are much smaller in terms of population Receive more vaccinations Donated by China much earlier. Throughout the epidemic, Vietnam has not received any health equipment, masks and personal protective equipment from China like its neighbors. Chinese diplomats made trips to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Cambodia regularly but avoided Vietnam. For example, Vietnam has handled the virus well, but tensions around the South China Sea could have played a role.

So far, Vietnam Received 1.5 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine (500,000 donated in June and 1 million purchased in July), but according to a statement from the Vietnamese Ministry of Health, the vaccines will be used for Chinese citizens in Vietnam, people from Vietnam who have plans to work or study in China, and people Living near the border with China. There is also a level of concern about Chinese products common among Vietnamese and some have cited distrust as a factor in not getting more vaccines produced in China. True, Hanoi is wary of the geopolitical implications of over-reliance on Chinese vaccines. But in reality, Beijing’s generosity towards Vietnam was also scant.

Release of the vaccine has been significantly slower, and it was only actually released in July. As of mid-AugustOnly 1% of the population is fully immunized with two doses, and 7.7% with at least one dose. The newly announced National Immunization Strategy expects to complete vaccinations for 70% of the population by mid-2022.

Vietnam Launched The Vietnam Fund for Vaccination and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease, a $1.1 billion public fund to secure 120 million doses of vaccine by the end of the year. The government also started asking for Public donations to support the fund. By early June the fund was Believer $180 million from more than 230,000 organizations and individuals, including Samsung and Toyota.

The highly contagious delta variant previously challenged Vietnam Effective response to the epidemic. The slow spread of the vaccine and the spread of new mutations of the virus have complicated the ambitious economic plans of Vietnam in particular. Although Vietnam’s economic performance in early 2021 was strong (with GDP growth 6.6% For the second quarter), the outlook after June was more bleak, as factories in the country’s major industrial regions reduce capacity due to the outbreak. Economic performance and outlook are likely to be negatively affected if lockdowns continue. The weaker response to the Delta affects Vietnam’s international reputation and domestic confidence in the system, and leads to a turbulent start for the government’s new leadership.

As of mid-August, a total of 17.9 million Vaccine doses have reached Vietnam. This included more than 11 million doses of AstraZeneca donated by Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom and purchased by the government, 5 million doses of Moderna donated by the United States, and 1.5 million doses of Sinopharm provided by China. The optimistic view is that Vietnam will be able to overcome its vaccine shortage by becoming a vaccine producer. In July, Vietnam successfully Test batch produced Russian Sputnik V vaccine. It is also in conversations With the United States to transfer technology and strive to become a center for mRNA-based vaccine technology.

Vietnam has become a model example, no matter how successful COVID-19 is response strategies It was in the past, countries are still at risk. As new variables continue to shift, strategies for managing COVID-19 must be constantly reviewed and adapted accordingly. Accelerating vaccination is imperative to securing human security, economic recovery, and political confidence.

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