Vietnam to receive 5 mln Covid-19 vaccine doses in February

The country will get approximately five million doses of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine by the end of February, including some 4.9 million vaccine doses provided via Covax, a global mechanism for developing, manufacturing, and procuring the COVID-19 vaccine.
February 17, 2021 | 10:36
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Vietnam would receive around five million Covid-19 vaccine doses by the end of February, Deputy Health Minister Truong Quoc Cuong said at a meeting Monday. (Photo: VN Express)

Vietnam would receive around five million Covid-19 vaccine doses by the end of February, Deputy Health Minister Truong Quoc Cuong said at a meeting Monday.

They include about 4.9 million vaccine doses provided via Covax, a global mechanism for developing, manufacturing, and procuring Covid-19 vaccine candidates, and help member countries access vaccines as they become available. About 117,000 other doses would be imported, Cuong said, adding that they would come by the end of February provided that flights and procedures are completed as scheduled.

With the vaccine doses, five million people will receive the first shots, and three months later the second shots would be administered. Around two to five million people on the frontline of the coronavirus fight would be prioritized to get the vaccine, said VN Express.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc stated that importing COVID-19 vaccines should be a priority moving forward for the Government, while also calling for swift progress to be made on research into domestic COVID-19 vaccines. "Within February, there will be vaccine doses provided by the United Nations and other buying sources, while domestic production needs to be boosted as well," the PM said.

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Covax announced last month that it will provide between 4.9 million and 8.2 million vaccine doses to the country during the first half of the year. (Photo: VOV)

The Ministry of Health will be tasked with choosing the vaccines and relevant partners, therefore determining who is prioritized to be vaccinated and co-operating alongside the Ministry of Finance to propose the budget for purchasing vaccines.

Most notably, the nation has reached a deal to receive 30 million doses of a vaccine developed by British-Swedish company AstraZeneca in collaboration with Oxford University during the first half of the year. The country is also stepping up negotiations with both Pfizer and Moderna, two firms from the United States, along with other vaccine manufacturers based in Russia and China, VOV cited.

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh said the vaccine doses imported aren't many, so authorities need to actively negotiate with other sources to buy more vaccines and promote domestic vaccine manufacturing. "Some experts have requested that Vietnam considers vaccines produced by Russia due to their fairly good quality and affordable prices," he said.

Covax announced last month that it will provide between 4.9 million and 8.2 million vaccine doses to the country during the first half of the year.

Furthermore, the nation has four domestic COVID-19 vaccines developed by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, the Vaccine and Biological Production Company No. 1, and the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals.

Nanocovax, produced by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, has also finished its first phase of human trials and is expected to begin the second one this month. In addition, Covivac of the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals is expected to commence human trials this month.

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Valerie Mai

Insider

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