HANOI, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Southern Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), the country's current COVID-19 epicenter, on Friday started administering China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine among its Vietnamese citizens.
The move is part of the efforts to achieve the target of fully vaccinating 70 percent of the city's adult population by the end of August, local newspaper Tien Phong quoted Nguyen Hoai Nam, deputy head of the municipal health department, as reporting.
On July 31, HCMC received 1 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from sponsors, which had been evaluated by Vietnam's Ministry of Health as in good condition with assured quality, Nam said, adding that his department has started distributing Sinopharm vaccines to inoculation sites.
The southern city is currently speeding up its vaccination campaign with 200,000 to 250,000 doses administered each day, according to the local health department.
HCMC has been applying the country's strictest social distancing rules since July 9.
The city registered 3,841 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, raising the total tally to 136,756, accounting for over half of Vietnam's 246,568 cases as of Thursday evening. A total of 3,807 deaths had been recorded in the city, accounting for nearly 80 percent of the country's total, according to the health ministry.