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First Pfizer vaccine expected to arrive in Vietnam next month

Rosemary Nguyen Rosemary Nguyen

khanhduong.vns@gmail.com

June 17, 2021 | 15:03

Part of 31 million Pfizer vaccine doses will arrive in Vietnam next month, a representative of Pfizer Vietnam said on Wednesday

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First Pfizer vaccine expected to arrive in Vietnam next month
As many as 31 million doses of Pfizer vaccine are scheduled to be delivered to Vietnam this year. Photo AFP

John Paul Pullicino, country manager and chief representative of Pfizer Vietnam, said the delivery of Pfizer vaccine to Vietnam was scheduled to be in the third and fourth quarters of this year. But part of the doses will arrive next month.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Health last week approved the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for domestic emergency use. According to the deal with Pfizer, Vietnam will receive 31 million doses this year.

Speaking about Pfizer vaccine counterfeit in some countries including Vietnam, Pullicino said Pfizer only supplied vaccine via legal sources which are approved by the governments.

Ensuring the delivery of safe and effective vaccine doses that meet quality standards is of paramount importance to Pfizer and the community. In this context, Pfizer ensures vaccine supply through approved and legal sources from the governments of different countries, he said.

According to the biopharmaceutical company’s representative, some individuals claimed that they acquired the right to access to Pfizer vaccine supply.

Pullicino affirmed that not any single vaccine supply made by non-governmental units is legal now.

At an online training session for market management staff in Vietnam on Wednesday to identify fake and authentic Pfizer vaccine, Vanessa Piepenburg, representative of global security for Pfizer Singapore, said authentic Pfizer vaccine was put in small colorless glass vitals with a volume of 2ml each. Less than half of the vital is opalescent liquid.

Each vital holds six doses. The vaccine is neither pre-filled in syringes nor in the form of oral doses, tablets and capsules. In most countries, ‘Pfizer&BioNTech’ is seen on the vaccine label. In Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, it is ‘Fosun and BioNTech’ on the label, she said.

First Pfizer vaccine expected to arrive in Vietnam next month
Authentic Pfizer vaccine is put in small colorless glass vitals each of which has six doses. Photo AFP

The Pfizer vaccine has not been put on commercial sale. Vaccines purchased in commercial transactions at this time are all fake, she said.

Pfizer vaccine is delivered from Belgium, not from China or India and not supplied in single doses, she added.

She reaffirmed Pfizer vaccine was only supplied via distribution channels proposed by governments and delivered to fixed inoculation venues.

The representative of Pfizer committed to build partnership with anti-fake product alliances and law enforcement forces to fight against the vaccine counterfeit. The company will supervise public and ‘dark’ websites to learn about unauthorized vaccine offers and ensure security for Pfizer product packaging.

Tran Huu Linh, general director of the Vietnam’s directorate of market surveillance, said the Vietnamese health ministry had issued warning over fake Covid-19 vaccines. Training on how to identify fake and authentic vaccines will help the market surveillance forces to better perform their tasks and protect rights of customers.

According to the US Embassy in Vietnam, Vietnam is also among 92 countries and territories the US will donate Pfizer–BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine shots to by June of next year.

Based on evidence from clinical trials among people aged 16 years and older, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 95 percent effective and requires two doses given 21 days apart, according to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, VnExpress reported.

Cuba ready to transfer vaccine production technology to Vietnam

During an online working session with Vietnamese minister of health Nguyen Thanh Long, Cuban Minister of Public Health José Angel Portal Miranda said Cuba was willing to cooperate with Vietnam in the supply of Abdala, a Cuba's homegrown Covid-19 vaccine, and transfer the vaccine production technology to Vietnam.

The Cuban health minister said Abdala vaccine had gone through three clinical trials on more than 48,000 people aged between 19 and 80 in Cuba. However, the vaccine has yet to be tested in human in other countries.

First Pfizer vaccine expected to arrive in Vietnam next month
Abdala and Soberana are two Cuba's homegrown vaccines being on clinical trials. Photo Twitter

The Abdala vaccine is able to prevent SARS-CoV-2 variants first found in Africa and Brazil with high level of safety and immunity. The vaccine will be given in three doses, with an interval of 14 days between the two injections and can be stored at temperatures between 2-8 degrees Celsius.

Cuba can produce about 100 million doses of vaccine per year but will only domestically use about 30 million doses. If Vietnam needs a larger amount of vaccine that Cuba can produce, Cuba will open two factories to meet Vietnam’s demand, Miranda said.

Vietnamese minister of health Nguyen Thanh Long thanked Cuba for its goodwill, saying the Vietnamese health ministry totally supported the cooperation. He said based on domestic demand, the ministry would submit an estimated amount of vaccine to authorized agencies for approval.

At the meeting, Long also informed the Cuban health minister on two locally-manufactured vaccine of Vietnam which are on the clinical trial processes. Nanocovax, which is now in the third trial phase shares common technological features with Cuba’s Abdala vaccine.

First Pfizer vaccine expected to arrive in Vietnam next month
Vietnamese minister of health Nguyen Thanh Long holds an online meeting with Cuban Minister of Public Health José Angel Portal Miranda on Wednesday. Photo Vietnamplus

The Vietnamese health ministry is trying to access to vaccine supplies and cooperate with different countries in producing and transferring vaccine production technology.

Vabiotech company, under the Vietnamese Ministry of Health, has cooperated with Russia and is expected to produce Russia’s vaccine in Vietnam by July with an expected capacity of 5 million doses per month. This is also a very important outcome for Russia to transfer vaccine production technology to Vietnam in the near future, Long said./.

Earlier this week, minister Long said Vietnam would launch the largest-ever vaccination campaign with around 150 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to be injected. With that amount of vaccines, Vietnam aims to inoculate 70 per cent of population from the age of 18.

As many as 120 million doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, from Russia and COVAX initiative will arrive in Vietnam this year.

First Pfizer vaccine expected to arrive in Vietnam next month
A health worker in Thanh Hoa province is administered with AstraZeneca vaccine. Photo VNA

Vietnam has so far received nearly 3 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine as part of COVAX scheme.

As of Thursday morning, more than 1.7 million doses, all from AstraZeneca, have been administered in the country. As many as 72,325 people received two doses.

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Rosemary Nguyen