Vietnam proposes UK transfer Covid-19 vaccine production technology
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Raab again congratulated Son on his appointment to the post of Foreign Minister, believing that with his experience, Son will help the Vietnamese diplomatic sector reap more successes.
Son affirmed that during the implementation of its foreign policy of the 13th National Party Congress, Vietnam always attaches importance to and wants to promote its strategic partnership with the UK in a more practical and effective manner, Vietnamplus reported.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son holds phone talks with British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Dominic Raab. Photo: VNA
He congratulated the UK on its important achievements in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in leading Europe and the world in deploying COVID-19 vaccinations. He proposed the UK create more favorable conditions for vaccine supply and consider facilitating the transfer of vaccine production technology to Vietnam.
The British minister congratulated Vietnam on successfully assuming the role as ASEAN Chair in 2020, and thanked Vietnam for supporting the UK in its efforts to become a Dialogue Partner of ASEAN as well as its accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
He said that the UK wants to continue working closely with Vietnam at multilateral forums, especially when Vietnam holds the position as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-2021 term.
Raab emphasized the importance of complying with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), for peace and stability in the region and the world.
|Health workers wait for their turn as Vietnam starts its official rollout of AstraZeneca's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine for health workers, at Hai Duong Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Hai Duong province, Vietnam, March 8, 2021. (Photo: Reuters)|
The two sides agreed to soon resume delegation exchanges and meetings of key cooperation mechanisms, including the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) and defence dialogue.
They also discussed international and regional issues of common concern and agreed to work closely to ensure the success of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), hosted by the UK in November.
They highlighted the central role of ASEAN, and supported measures to promote dialogue and finding a long-term solution to the Myanmar situation.
Earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it was reviewing a proposal by an unidentified vaccine manufacturer in Vietnam to become an mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine technology hub in the country.
MRNA vaccines, like that developed jointly by BioNTech and Pfizer, prompt the human body to make a protein that is part of the virus, triggering an immune response.
"A vaccine manufacturer in Vietnam has already expressed its interest to become an mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine technology transfer hub," Kidong Park, the WHO representative in Vietnam, said in an emailed statement to Reuters Wednesday.
The proposal was being reviewed by the WHO, said Park, who added that the organization expects Vietnam to also apply for "large scale manufacturing" of an mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine.
Park did not say which vaccine manufacturer had expressed interest in the plans.
The WHO in April said it was seeking to expand the capacity of low and middle-income countries to produce and scale up the manufacturing of vaccines to help bring the pandemic under control.
"If Vietnam will host an mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine technology transfer hub, it will contribute to mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine production in Vietnam as well as in the region," Park told Reuters.
The second batch of nearly 1.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine under the Covax facility reached Hanoi Sunday.
The doses were transferred to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) for storage, awaiting the Health Ministry's instructions on distribution to localities for the third phase of vaccination.
Duong Thi Hong, deputy director of the NIHE, said the vaccine boxes have been transported in the prescribed temperature. The shipment is part of the 4.1 million doses committed in free support for Vietnam under the Covax facility.
The health ministry has said that the second batch will be used to expand vaccination coverage to more people in priority groups, and provide a second dose to those who have already got the first dose.
Vietnam will get 31 million Covid-19 vaccine doses developed by U.S.-based firm Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech Pfizer Inc. this year, the Health Ministry said.
Nearly 600 diplomatic staff working at Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been given Covid-19 vaccine shots on May 13 and 14.
Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue voiced his hopes Japan will share and transfer the Covid-19 vaccine production technology for Vietnam.