Vietnam delays reopening resort island due to low vaccination rate
Vietnam has postponed its plan to reopen Phu Quoc to foreign tourists until November after failing to meet targets for inoculating residents due to a shortage of vaccine supplies, according to state media.
The Southeast Asian nation, which has closed to all visitors except for citizens returning home and investors, has been working hard to speed up inoculations to stave off the attack of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
Authorities had initially planned to allow vaccinated foreign tourists to start returning to Phu Quoc in October to revive the tourism sector and prop up the economy. read more
“We have to inoculate residents here for herd immunity but vaccine supplies are falling short,” the state-run VTC newspaper quoted Huynh Quang Hung, the chairman of Phu Quoc City’s People’s Committee, as saying.
Last week, the island’s authorities said an additional 250,000-300,000 doses were needed to achieve herd immunity.
So far only 2.9% of residents in Kien Giang, the province that hosts Phu Quoc, had received two doses, official data showed.
Overall, 7.3% of Vietnam’s 98 million people are fully vaccinated – one of the lowest rates in the region.
Phu Quoc on Monday detected a new COVID-19 cluster after months with no local cases, though provincial authorities said it was under control and would not affect the reopening plan.