|A peek into cold storage preserving thousands of Covid-19 vaccines in Vietnam|
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|At the Covax vaccine reception ceremony on April 1 afternoon (Photo: VN Economy)|
The Ministry of Health made the statement Thursday afternoon, hours after the first batch of 811,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine supplied by the United Nations International Children Fund (UNICEF) via Covax arrived at Noi Bai International Airport.
The Ministry said such arrival was a good news, however, it might take time before the vaccines were doled out. Therefore, all residents must still strictly abide by preventive measures, including wearing face masks, washing hands, distancing with others, to mitigate the possible spread of the novel virus.
Dr. Kidong Park, Chief Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Vietnam, said Vietnam had well prepared for the vaccine reception, given all the medical training programs, ready vaccine transporting and storing system, list of prioritized groups.
“The arrival of the vaccine means more front liners could get the shots and protected against the novel coronavirus. WHO will continue to work with partners to ensure those needing protection the most could reach the vaccines”, Park was quoted by VNE as saying.
Ms. Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative in Vietnam emphasized that UNICEF was making its best effort to distribute the vaccines, hoping to save millions of lives.
“Life and economic activities in Vietnam could only return to normal when the entire population are inoculated. Only then, children could return schools, get access to protective and healthcare services”, Flowers stressed. “This is truly a great moment for all of us to join hands to support Vietnamese people”.
Mr. Kamal Malhotra, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Vietnam said Covax was pulling all the stops to provide enough vaccines for 20 percent of the population of all eligible countries by the end of 2021.
Malhotra, however, voiced concerns over the short shelf life of most Covid-19 vaccines (6 months), which he believed might adversely affect the actual number of doses administered in each country. He, therefore, recommended Health Ministries to be proactive in vaccination plans, making sure each resident gets two shots, 2-3 months apart, VN Economy reported.
|The 811,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine arrived at Noi Bai International Airport Thursday morning (Photo: VNE)|
Vietnam is expecting 60 million doses of the UK’s AstraZeneca vaccine, with 30 million sourced via Covax and another 30 million by order.
The 811,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine arrived at Noi Bai International Airport Thursday morning is the first batch among the 30-million-dose allocation from the global vaccine access mechanism Covax. Over 3,3 million more doses are scheduled to land in Vietnam in May while the rest will arrive by late 2021, according to Zing News.
The 30 million doses, which are supplied by the United Nations International Children’s Funds (UNICEF) via Covax, are deemed to cover 20 percent of the Vietnamese population, prioritizing frontline workers.
On February 24, the first 117,600 purchased doses arrived in the country and have been administered to nearly 50,000 prioritized recipients in the National Expanded Vaccination program.
On March 23, Vietnam greenlighted Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use.
Regarding domestically produced Covid-19 vaccines, the country is eyeing self-provision of vaccines in Quarter 3 this year, as soon as the homegrown Nanocovax finishes its third phase of human trials.
Vietnam, the country’s been showered with praises over comprehensive and effective COVID-19 containment attainment is having four potential vaccines on hands. The vaccines are studied and produced by Nanogen, Vabiotech, Polyvac and the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVMB), all have completed the laboratory production process.
IVMB’s candidate Covivac has entered the first phase of human trials in early March after yielding safe and strong immunity response on animals. In the meantime, Nanocogen’s Nonacovax vaccine has gone half the way into the second phase. Nanogen Biopharmaceutical company is expected to end its Nanocovax vaccine’s human trials by February 2022.
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Border officers and soldiers patrolling at border gates and checkpoints in Tay Ninh province will be prioritized for nearly 1,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine.
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Given the current speed of the Nanocovax vaccine’s human trial, Vietnam is expecting to have the first domestic Covid-19 vaccine greenlighted in late 2021