PM: Vietnam wishes to receive COVID-19 vaccine soon

Vietnam wants to receive COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX programme soon, and is committed to distributing it fairly, free and effectively to the public,
February 09, 2021 | 08:38
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The Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosts a reception for ambassadors and chief representatives from United Nations (UN) agencies in Vietnam. Photo: VnExpress

Vietnam wants to receive COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX programme soon, and is committed to distributing it fairly, free and effectively to the public, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said on February 8.

The PM made the affirmation during his reception for ambassadors and chief representatives from United Nations (UN) agencies in Vietnam.

The PM said that Vietnamese people experienced a tough year in 2020 but still with many achievements, noting that the country is dealing with a new COVID-19 outbreak, Vietnam Plus reported.

He thanked the UN, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the international community for the implementation of the COVAX programme that covers 20 percent of the Vietnamese population.

Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator in the country, congratulated Vietnam on the success of the 13th National Party Congress as well as the country’s achievements in containing COVID-19 hotbeds and protecting people’s health.

He clarified that the UN and Vietnam have shared sound relations, expressing his belief that the ties will continue to develop in the future.

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The Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosts a reception for ambassadors and chief representatives from United Nations (UN) agencies in Vietnam. Photo: VNA

The UN always prioritises strengthening partnership with Vietnam and supports the country in anti-COVID-19 vaccine, expressing his view that vaccine should be a global goods that need to be provided free to people.

Lauding Vietnam’s quick response to the pandemic, he said that the Covax programme is ready to deliver first vaccines to countries by late February.

He said he hopes Vietnam will manage to provide the vaccine for 70-80 percent of the population.

Malhotra said he hailed Vietnam’s initiative to take December 27 as the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness.

He suggested that the Vietnamese Government set up an inter-sectoral mechanism at highest level to manage people’s health issues and prevent the spread of diseases from animals to human.

On January 27, the Vaccine Alliance said it will hand over about 25 percent of the vaccine to Vietnam in the first quarter of this year, equivalent to some 4.9 to 8.2 million doses. The remainder will be transferred to the country in the second quarter.

What is COVAX?

COVAX is one of three pillars of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which was launched in April by the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Commission and France in response to this pandemic. Bringing together governments, global health organisations, manufacturers, scientists, private sector, civil society and philanthropy, with the aim of providing innovative and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines. The COVAX pillar is focussed on the latter. It is the only truly global solution to this pandemic because it is the only effort to ensure that people in all corners of the world will get access to COVID-19 vaccines once they are available, regardless of their wealth.

Coordinated by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the WHO, COVAX will achieve this by acting as a platform that will support the research, development and manufacturing of a wide range of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, and negotiate their pricing. All participating countries, regardless of income levels, will have equal access to these vaccines once they are developed. The initial aim is to have 2 billion doses available by the end of 2021, which should be enough to protect high risk and vulnerable people, as well as frontline healthcare workers.

For lower-income funded nations, who would otherwise be unable to afford these vaccines, as well as a number of higher-income self-financing countries that have no bilateral deals with manufacturers, COVAX is quite literally a lifeline and the only viable way in which their citizens will get access to COVID-19 vaccines. For the wealthiest self-financing countries, some of which may also be negotiating bilateral deals with vaccine manufacturers, it serves as an invaluable insurance policy to protect their citizens, both directly and indirectly. On the one hand it will provide direct protection by increasing their chances of securing vaccine doses. Yet, at the same time by procuring COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX, these nations will also indirectly protect their citizens by reducing the chances of resurgence by ensuring that the rest of the world gets access to doses too.

Vietnam to import 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in H1

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Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Photo: AFP/VNA

The Vietnam Vaccine Joint Stock Company (VNVC) has announced that it will import 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from the UK in the first half of 2021.

A representative from VNVC told the Sai gon Giai phong (Liberated Sai gon) that the company has completed negotiations on the deal with AstraZeneca – a global biopharmaceutical business from the UK.

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was co-developed with the University of Oxford. This vaccine is recommended for people aged between 18 – 64.

This vaccine gives high immunity, from 62 – 90 per cent at different doses.

Research shows that 100 percent of people who were given the vaccine had an immune response to COVID-19 without noticing any problems related to the safety of the vaccine at different doses.

Supply Director of VNVC Vu Thi Thu Ha said her company has made the best preparations to receive the vaccines and give injections to residents, according to Viet Nam News./.

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International organizations are considering supplying COVID-19 vaccines under the COVAX programme to Vietnam to help the country to fight the pandemic.

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