They are the first vaccine doses supplied by the COVAX Facility through UNICEF, which arrived in Hanoi on April 1.

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will receive the highest numbers, with 53,350 doses for the capital city, and 56,250 doses for the southern largest economic hub.

Vietnam aims to provide COVID-19 shots to 20 percent of its population by the year-end. Photo: MoH

Meanwhile, the northern province of Hai Duong which has recently borne the brunt of the third wave of COVID-19 outbreaks will get 43,700 doses.

The ministry has asked the National Expanded Program on Immunization  and the Regional Expanded Program on Immunization to immediately transport the vaccine to the target localities and agencies in order to conduct the injections in line with regulations.

The inoculation must be completed before May 15, 2021, and the vaccination outcomes will then be reported to the ministry and relevant institutes, it said.

Vietnam began its COVID-19 inoculation drive on March 8. By April 6, a total of 19 cities and provinces had rolled out the vaccinations, administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to 53,953 people who are front-line medical workers, and members of community-based anti-COVID-19 groups, and the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Earlier, the ministry asked localities nationwide to promptly compile a list of individuals prioritized for COVID-19 vaccinations as guided by the Government.

The ten prioritized groups in the free vaccination program include front-line medical staff, army and public security officers, diplomatic officials and their families who are about to be sent abroad, diplomats and members of UN bodies in Vietnam, teachers, aviation and transport staff, people suffering chronic diseases, people above 65 years of age, those living in pandemic-hit areas, poor people, and social policy beneficiaries.

COVAX has pledged to give Vietnam an additional 4.17 million doses by the end of May.

Vietnam aims to provide COVID-19 shots to 20 percent of its population by the year-end.

Source: VNA