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First COVAX's vaccine shipment to reach Vietnam in early April

Valerie Mai Valerie Mai

mnghonganh@gmail.com

March 30, 2021 | 18:17

The first COVAX Facility vaccine shipment, including 800.000 AstraZeneca doses is scheduled to arrive at Noi Bai International Airport in early April.

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The first COVAX Facility vaccine shipment, including 800.000 AstraZeneca doses is scheduled to arrive at Noi Bai International Airport in early April. (Photo: Bangkok Post)

"This vaccine shipment will be transferred to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology for restoration, then the Ministry of Health will distribute them for vaccination," said Prof. Dang Duc Anh, Head of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, to VN Express on March 30.

Covax Facility is a regime formed by World Health Organization and partners to ensure countries get equal and effective access to COVID-19 vaccine sources. According to the previous plan, Covax will provide 1,37 million AstraZeneca doses to Vietnam on March 25. However, due to the lack of supply, the schedule was delayed. The first Covax shipment to Vietnam only includes 811,200 doses.

Ms. Ranna Flowers, UNICEF Representative in Vietnam, said that due to production delays, deliveries were expected to be postponed in all countries, including Vietnam. Covax is still committed to providing Vietnam with more than 4 million doses, divided into different batches to the end of May. According to Ms. Ranna, this shipment delivers fewer vaccine doses than previously announced because, after consideration, Covax had to re-distributed the vaccines based on equal providing to all 92 countries.

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It is expected that by the end of September, Vietnam's Nanocovax will conclude its 3rd trial stage, which will allow the country to self-control its vaccine supply. (Photo: Vietnam Plus)

So far, Vietnam's vaccine source consists of Covax support source and VNVC company's order. It is expected that this year, Vietnam will receive 60 million doses of AstraZeneca, 30 of which will be provided by Covax, the rest will be bought by the previous order. Those vaccine distribution plans can be postponed for a year, from 2021 to 2022.

Besides AstraZeneca, on March 23, Vietnam urgently approved the Russian Sputnik vaccine to serve the country's need to fight back the pandemic. The Ministry of Health and vaccine and medicine providers are working with Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Indian, and other vaccine producers on vaccine supply. As for home-grown vaccines, it is expected that by the end of September, Vietnam's Nanocovax will conclude its 3rd trial stage, which will allow the country to self-control its vaccine supply.

To date, Vietnam has received more than 117,000 AstraZeneca doses ordered by VNVC. These vaccines have been allocated to provinces and cities to vaccinate the front-line health workers. As of this morning, more than 46,000 people have been vaccinated, of which Hai Duong has the highest number of recipients. Some reactions, mostly common ones, are recorded after injection. The post-injection response rates are equivalent to those reported by the manufacturer. Very few cases of severe reaction have found, all were treated and had recovered.

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Valerie Mai