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The aim of this study is to analyse the changing patterns in the transmission of COVID-19 in relation to changes in Vietnamese governmental policies, based on epidemiological data and policy actions in a large Vietnamese province, Bac Ninh, in 2021. Data on confirmed cases from January to December 2021 were collected, together with policy documents. There were three distinct periods of the COVID-19 pandemic in Bac Ninh province during 2021. During the first period, referred to as the ‘Zero-COVID’ period (01/04–07/04/2021), there was a low population vaccination rate, with less than 25% of the population receiving its first vaccine dose. Measures implemented during this period focused on domestic movement restrictions, mask mandates, and screening efforts to control the spread of the virus. The subsequent period, referred to as the ‘Transition’ period (07/05–10/22/2021), witnessed a significant increase in population vaccination coverage, with 80% of the population receiving their first vaccine dose. During this period, several days passed without any reported COVID-19 cases in the community. The local government implemented measures to manage domestic actions and reduce the time spent in quarantine, and encouraged home quarantining for the close contacts of cases with COVID-19. Finally, the ‘New-normal’ stage (10/23–12/31/2021), during which the population vaccination coverage with a second vaccine dose increased to 70%, and most of the mandates for the prevention and control of COVID-19 were reduced. In conclusion, this study highlights the importance of governmental policies in managing and controlling the transmission of COVID-19 and provides insights for developing realistic and context-specific strategies in similar settings.
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