Hiep said one of the reasons behind Vietnam’s low rate of COVID-19 vaccination was that the country suffers from the global shortage of vaccine supply, like most of developing countries.

Although the Vaccine Corporation Vietnam (VNVC) placed an order for 30 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine in 2020, the supply from this arrangement has so far remained limited, he said, so is the vaccine supply for the country under the COVAX Facility.

Vietnam is accelerating efforts to secure adequate vaccine supplies amid a resurgence of COVID-19 infections in the country.

The scale and serious effects of the fourth wave have forced the Vietnamese government to accelerate vaccination as a crucial, fundamental and long-term strategy to overcome the pandemic. Great efforts have been made within a short period of time to secure as much vaccine supply as possible.

Rather than holding the government’s monopoly over vaccine import, Vietnam has encouraged all relevant stakeholders, especially private companies and foreign investors, to help acquire vaccines for the country.

On June 5, an initiative was officially launched by the government to raise USD 1.1 billion from the public and the business community to cover the cost of the vaccination program. The initiative has attracted more than USD 250 million in pledged donations after only a few days.

At the international level, Vietnam has worked actively through diplomatic channels to secure more vaccine supplies. For example, the United States has decided to donate to Vietnam 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Japan is also reportedly preparing to donate vaccines to Vietnam.

Thanks to these efforts, the Ministry of Health announced on June 3 that Vietnam had secured commitments by relevant suppliers to provide 120 million doses within 2021, including from Moderna (5 million doses), Sputnik V (20 million doses), AstraZeneca (30 million doses), Pfizer (31 million doses), and the COVAX Facility (38.9 million doses).

Vietnam is also in talks with Russian partners to produce Sputnik V vaccines in the country. With the NanoCovax vaccine entering phase-3 trials soon, there is a hope that Vietnam will also benefit from domestic sources.

Source: VNA