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Vietnam included in US vaccine distribution list

Rosy Huong Rosy Huong

huongthhd@gmail.com

June 23, 2021 | 00:01

The US has announced the distribution list for 55 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, and Vietnam is among the destinations.

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Vietnam included in US vaccine distribution list
US President Joe Biden has committed to distributing 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses internationally as part of a plan to thwart the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: AFP

Vietnam is among the countries that will receive 55 million doses of coronavirus vaccines, the remainder of 80 million doses that US President Joe Biden pledged to share globally by the end of June.

Earlier this month, the Administration announced the plan for the first 25 million doses and the country has begun the shipping, the White House said in a statement on June 21.

For these 80 million doses, the US will share 75% through COVAX - a humanitarian program run in part by the World Health Organisation that aims to distribute vaccines fairly, and 25% will be targeted to help deal with surges around the world.

Of the 55 million doses, around 41 million will be shared through COVAX, the White House said.

Some 16 million of them will go to Asia, including Vietnam, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bhutan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, Cambodia, and the Pacific Islands.

More than 14 million will be distributed to Latin America and the Caribbean, and the remaining 10 million to Africa.

A woman receives a Covid-19 vaccine shot in HCMC, June 21, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
A woman receives a Covid-19 vaccine shot in HCMC, June 21, 2021. Photo: VnExpress

The 14 million non-COVAX doses will be shared with "regional priorities and other recipients” such as Colombia, Argentina, Haiti, other CARICOM countries, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Cabo Verde, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Tunisia, Oman, West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Georgia, Moldova, and Bosnia.

The specific vaccines and amounts will be determined and shared as the administration works through the logistical, regulatory and other parameters particular to each region and country, the White House said.

US vaccine strategy

The White House said in addition to sharing doses from the vaccine supply, the Biden-Harris Administration is also committed to working with US manufacturers to produce more vaccine to share with the world.

To that end, ahead of the G7, President Biden announced that the US will purchase half a billion Pfizer doses and donate them to 92 low- and lower middle-income countries and members of the African Union.

In total, the G7+ agreed to provide an additional more than 1 billion doses starting summer 2021. In addition, the US is committed to expanding local production of vaccines, and through the Quad partnership and the International Development Finance Corporation’s support for vaccine manufacturing, more than 1 billion doses will be produced in Africa and India in 2021 and 2022.

A person being vaccinated at the launch of the province-wide roadshows to drum up public support for vaccination against COVID 19 at Moses Mabhida People’s Park on June 08, 2021 in Durban, South Africa. Darren Stewart | Gallo Images | Getty Images
A person being vaccinated at the launch of the province-wide roadshows to drum up public support for vaccination against COVID 19 at Moses Mabhida People’s Park on June 08, 2021 in Durban, South Africa. Darren Stewart | Gallo Images | Getty Images

This vaccine strategy is a vital component of our overall global effort to lead the world in the fight to defeat COVID-19 and to achieve global health security,” according to the statement.

"Our goals are to increase global Covid-19 vaccination coverage, prepare for surges and prioritize healthcare workers and other vulnerable populations based on public health data and acknowledged best practice, and help our neighbors and other countries in need.

"And, as we have previously stated, the United States will not use its vaccines to secure favors from other countries."

The announcement comes as the vaccination supply is outpacing demand in the US — with roughly 65% of adult Americans now having received at least one shot — and as Biden has increasingly shifted his vaccine strategy to focus on worldwide vaccination rates, NBC News reported.

The US and other wealthy countries were criticized earlier this year for racing ahead in their vaccine rollouts as poorer countries struggled to obtain vaccines.

Experts have warned that global vaccination inequality could prolong the pandemic for everyone if the coronavirus continues to mutate, which could make it more infectious and resistant to vaccines./.

A medical worker gives a shot of Nano Covax to a volunteer in the third-phase trials at the Hanoi-based Vietnam Military Medical University (Photo: VNA)
A medical worker gives a shot of Nano Covax to a volunteer in the third-phase trials at the Hanoi-based Vietnam Military Medical University. Photo: VNA

Vietnam has been using the AstraZeneca vaccine for its vaccination programme.

It has approved four vaccines so far: the UK's AstraZeneca, Russia's Generium, China's Sinopharm, and the vaccine developed by the US’s Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech Inc.

The country has completed the administration of the first 1,000 shots in the third-phase trials of Nano Covax, a home-grown Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

After the first 1,000 volunteers, the trials of Nano Covax will continue on another 12,000 on a 2:1 ratio, with two getting the vaccine and one the placebo.

The third-phase trials, using only the 25mcg doses, cover 13,000 volunteers aged between 18 and 75 nationwide.

Results of the first two stages show good immunity generation in all volunteers, VietnamPlus said.

Nano Covax has been developed by the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC since May 2020. The first-phase trials began on December 18, 2020 while the second phase on February 26 this year, and the third on June 11.

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Rosy Huong