Vietnam reports first death in patient who received AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

A health worker holds a vial as Vietnam starts its official rollout of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, in Hai Duong

By Khanh Vu

HANOI (Reuters) -Vietnam's health ministry on Friday reported its first death in a patient who received AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine shot, as the country is battling a new outbreak.

A 35-year-old female health worker in the southern province of An Giang died on Friday, one day after she received her first coronavirus vaccine shot, the Ministry of Health said in a statement, adding that she died from allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.

"This is a very rare case in the vaccination against COVID-19," the ministry said in the statement.

The Southeast Asian country has inoculated around 750,000 people against the coronavirus since it started its vaccination campaign early March, according to the ministry. All of the shots used are from AstraZeneca.

Vietnam has been praised for its record in containing its outbreaks quickly through targeted mass testing and a strict, centralised quarantine programme.

Friday's death comes as the country is battling a new outbreak that began early last week and is spreading rapidly in many parts of the country, including the capital Hanoi.

The ministry reported 47 new infections on Friday, raising the total number of cases in the country to 3,137, with 35 deaths.

The government last week said its COVID-19 vaccine rollout would be expedited, with the aim of administering all of the 928,800 AstraZeneca doses it had received so far by May 15.

(Reporting by Khanh Vu, editing by Louise Heavens)