Vietnam orders 170 million Covid-19 vaccine doses

Vietnam has ordered a total of 170 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from multiple sources, according to the Ministry of Health.
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Discussing the purchasing of Covid-19 vaccines and mechanism for vaccine quality control, Deputy Minister of Health Truong Quoc Cuong said that providing vaccines for all citizens as soon as possible, with the government encouraging eligible localities and enterprises to seek vaccine sources was the preferred model, at the government’s regular monthly conference on June 3.

Vietnam orders 170 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines

The deputy health minister said because Covid-19 vaccines were imported for emergency use, they had several special features.

The quality of Covid-19 vaccines is guaranteed by producers, but their efficacy and side effects need to be carefully monitored, unlike other vaccine types.

A number of vaccines must be stored in strict conditions, such as at at minus 75 degrees Celsius, so, Vietnam did not have enough facilities for such preservation.

Vietnam orders 170 million Covid-19 vaccine doses
A medical worker holds a vial containing a Covid-19 vaccine dose by AstraZeneca in Hanoi's National Hospital for Tropical Diseases. Photo: VnExpress

The deputy prime minister said the health ministry was assigned to import 150 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to inoculate 70% the population of 18 years old and over.

“Vietnam has basically got access to this number of vaccine doses, but manufacturers said they cannot ensure that the delivery can be made on time. Vietnam has to accept the late shipment,” Cuong said.

The deputy prime minister also said that Vietnam was one of the countries gaining early access to the vaccines, but due to the fact that supplies were short and the Covid-19 situation in several countries were more complex than that in Vietnam, the country was not prioritized.

Vietnam orders 170 million Covid-19 vaccine doses
A medical staff prepares to inject the Covid-19 vaccine into a person. Photo: VnExpress

He added that starting August, the accessed vaccine sources would arrive in Vietnam. Pfizer/BioNTech pledged to provide Vietnam with about 15.5 million doses in the third quarter and the same quantity in the fourth quarter.

Vietnam has been promised 30 million doses from AstraZeneca until the year ends and another 30 million from the COVAX Facility.

The health ministry has also reached a deal with Russia to get 20 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine. It has also ordered 10 million doses from the COVAX Facility and required Pfizer to supply another 20 million doses.

“Therefore, Vietnam has ordered a total of 170 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines,” Cuong said.

Vaccine cost set at VND 25,200 billion

Deputy Minister of Finance Ta Anh Tuan said the cost for purchasing and inoculating vaccines was estimated at VND 25,200 billion (US$ 1.1 billion).

Vietnam will use the state budget and other legal sources to buy and vaccinate residents.

Following the government’s direction, the Finance Ministry established the Covid-19 vaccine fund. In addition, it established a management board as well as issued a circular guiding fund management mechanism to ensure publicity, transparency and clarity.

Vietnam orders 170 million Covid-19 vaccine doses

A frontline worker in the Covid-19 fight is vaccinated against Covid-19 in Da Nang. Photo: VnExpress

The deputy minister said that enterprises in all economic sectors including foreign-invested and private ones had enthusiastically responded to contribute to the Covid-19 vaccine fund.

The Ministry of Finance has a plan to coordinate with the Government Office to report to the Prime Minister on mobilizing all economic sectors, businesses, organizations and individuals to support the fund.

The ministry has also worked with the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, relevant ministries and departments such as the Ministry of Information and Communications to support the fund in the simplest and most convenient forms.

Vietnam has been suffering its fourth wave of Covid-19 for 39 days. Infections have been recorded in 37 of its 63 cities and provinces.

Bac Giang and Bac Ninh continue to account for most cases, at 2,713 and 965, followed by Hanoi with 430, of whom more than 140 are in two hospitals under lockdown, and HCMC with 288.

Since the pandemic broke out, Vietnam has recorded 8,115 cases, including more than 3,000 recoveries and 49 deaths.

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