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Vietnam Airlines offers free COVID-19 vaccine transportation

March 13, 2021 | 01:10

Vietnam Airlines has offered to transport domestically free of charge 5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine (11.5 tonnes) supplied by COVAX Facility.

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Vietnam Airlines owns the most modern and synchronous infrastructure for transporting vaccines in Vietnam. Photo: VIR

Vietnam Airlines has offered to transport domestically free of charge 5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine (11.5 tonnes) supplied by COVAX Facility - a mechanism set up by the World Health Organization (WHO), from March 15.

With the proposal, the national flag carrier wishes to join hands in successfully implementing the country’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign, the VNA reported.

Previously, ground units of Vietnam Airlines participated in the receipt and successful preservation of the first vaccine batch for Vietnam on February 24 at Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

On March 6, Vietnam Airlines safely transported the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine on flight VN220 from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi.

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On March 6, Vietnam Airlines safely transported the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. Photo: vtc.vn

Vietnam Airlines owns the most modern and synchronous infrastructure for transporting vaccines in Vietnam. It has installed ultra-cold storage systems at airports. The firm can also deploy reefers service to store vaccines during air transportation.

With its network of 60 air routes across the country, Vietnam Airlines can quickly transport large volumes of vaccines to dozens of provinces nationwide.

Apart from domestic flights, the firm is still maintaining flights to destinations in Asia and Europe. This helps it be ready to ship vaccines from abroad as soon as required.

In November 2020, Bloomberg also said global airlines are facing “mission of the century” for vaccines.

Laid low by a COVID-19 outbreak that’s decimated passenger demand, airlines will be the workhorses of the attempt to eradicate it, hauling billions of vials to every corner of the globe,” it said.

Apart from Vietnam Airlines, Bamboo Airways also said it has made full preparations for COVID-19 vaccine transportation.

Vietnam to receive 5.6 million Covid-19 vaccine doses

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A medic holds a vial of Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca that is used to be injected for medical staff in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, March 9, 2021. Photo: VnExpress

More than four million doses of Covax-funded AstraZeneca vaccine and 1.48 million other doses Vietnam has ordered will arrive this month and next, according to VnExpress.

According to the national Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), Vietnam will receive 4.177 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine via the Covax program with support from the UNICEF.

The Covax, or the Global Covid-19 Vaccine Facility, is a global mechanism for the development, manufacture and procurement of Covid-19 vaccine candidates, facilitating and supporting member countries to access vaccines as they become available.

Under this, 1.373 million doses are slated to arrive on March 25 and the rest in April. The vaccine is produced by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca in collaboration with Oxford University.

Covax has pledged to provide Vietnam with 4.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the first half and around 33 million doses in the second half of this year.

Also within April, 1.48 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that Vietnam had ordered to buy via the Vietnam Vaccine JSC will also be delivered.

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

Besides the deal with AstraZeneca, Vietnam is also stepping up negotiations with the U.S.’s Pfizer and Moderna, along with other vaccine manufacturers in Russia and China.

Four indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccines are in the works. Human trials for Nanocovax, produced by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, began last December; and for Covivac, produced by the health ministry’s Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, are expected to begin soon./.

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