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FM spokesperson: Vietnam seeks to diversify COVID-19 vaccine sources

Malie Nguyen Malie Nguyen

Dieuhuong270198@gmail.com

March 26, 2021 | 07:57

Vietnam continues seeking and diversifying its COVID-19 vaccine sources by working with nations such as the US, India and China, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said at a regular press conference held on March 25.

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Vietnam continues seeking and diversifying its COVID-19 vaccine sources by working with nations such as the US, India and China, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said at a regular press conference held on March 25.

According to her, the work aims at increasing the rate of vaccine coverage among Vietnamese people, Vietnamplus reported.

Apart from imported vaccines, Vietnam is promoting the research and development of domestically produced vaccines, which are expected to put in use as early as 2022 to ensure the country’s supply, health security and response to the pandemic.

Currently, two Vietnamese candidate vaccines are under human trials in line with the Ministry of Health’s related process and regulations.

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Giving COVID-19 vaccine shot to a medical worker. Photo: VNA

On February 26, the Government issued Resolution No 21/NQ-CP regarding COVID-19 vaccine purchase and use. It identifies nine priority groups in the COVID-19 vaccination plan, including people at the frontline of the fight against the epidemic; Vietnamese diplomats sent to foreign countries; customs personnel; teachers and others working at educational facilities; and people working at administrative agencies with regular contacts with a large number of people.

Hang also cited data from the National Expanded Programme on Immunization, which showed that as of March 21, over 35,000 Vietnamese had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Previously, on March 23, the Health Ministry gave emergency use authorization (EUA) for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, making it the second greenlighted Covid-19 vaccine in the country, after AstraZeneca.

The Ministry greenlighted Sputnik V based on its safety, quality and effectiveness data provided by the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals (Polyvac) as of February 25.

Vietnam’s vaccination campaign began on March 8 after a batch of 117,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were delivered last month. They were part of 30 million doses Vietnam Vaccine JSC had ordered. The rest are expected to arrive between April and August.

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A worker holds up a vial of Nanocovax, a domestic Covid-19 vaccine, in a laboratory in HCMC's District 9. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.

On Wednesday UNICEF said on behalf of the Covax vaccine-sharing facility that the delivery of vaccines to all countries would be delayed due to production delays.

Over 811,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine via Covax will arrive in Hanoi next month and not March 25 as previously announced.

Covax, or the Global Covid-19 Vaccine Facility, is a global mechanism for facilitating and supporting member countries in procuring the vaccines as they become available.

Vietnam is expected to acquire 150 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from both foreign and domestic sources by 2022.

Three new cases of COVID-19 were detected in the past 12 hours to 6pm March 25, with two locally-transmitted and one imported cases, according to the Health Ministry.

Two local infections were reported in concentrated quarantine facilities in the northern province of Hai Duong, a hotspot in the latest COVID-19 wave since January 27 this year.

The imported case was a Vietnamese citizen returning from the US.

The national count increased to 2,579, with 1,603 local infections.

Meanwhile, 2,265 patients have given the all clear, and the death toll remains at 35.

Among patients still under treatment, 54 have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once, 21 twice and 45 thrice.

A total 36,480 people are being quarantined nationwide, with 485 at hospitals, 18,343 at concentrated facilities and 17,652 at their accommodations.

To live safely with the pandemic, the Ministry of Health advised people to continue preventive measures, including the “5K message” (in Vietnamese) - Khau trang (facemask) - (Khu khuan) disinfection - (Khoang cach) distance - (Khong tu tap) no gathering – (Khai bao y te) health declaration.

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Malie Nguyen