Give Vietnam more vaccine, American CEOs tell Biden

By Anh Minh   August 15, 2021 | 07:02 pm GMT+7
90 CEOs of leading U.S. companies have urged President Joe Biden to accelerate donation of vaccines to Vietnam as it battles its most serious Covid-19 outbreak yet.

In a letter sent to the U.S. President, the CEOs of companies like Adidas, Coach, Gap, Hanesbrands, Nike, VF and Under Amour have emphasized that Vietnam is an important economic and supply chain partner of the U.S.

According to the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas), the corporate honchos have stressed that the U.S. is best placed to provide the support needed to keep the supply chain going.

A batch of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine donated by the U.S. via Covax arrives at Hanois Noi Bai International Airport, July 10, 2021. Photo by the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi.

A batch of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine donated by the U.S. via Covax arrives at Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport, July 10, 2021. Photo by the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi.

Vietnam "is now the second largest supplier of apparel, footwear, and travel goods to the U.S. market. Further, Vietnam has become a major supplier of crucial inputs for America’s small but important footwear manufacturing industry," the letter says, adding about 3 million U.S. workers are connected - through the value chains - to many millions more in Vietnam.

"The health of our industry is directly dependent on the health of Vietnam’s industry."

The CEOs have asked President Biden to accelerate the donation of vaccines and other materials to help keep Vietnam on a strong footing so it can quickly recover, noting that the crisis of their employees in Vietnam is also their crisis.

On August 10, representatives of Vitas and the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (Lefaso) had a meeting with the CEOs on how to procure more vaccines and resume production.

Vitas also hoped that the "health" of the supply chain between Vietnam and the U.S. will be discussed in the upcoming trip of Vice President Kamala Harris to Vietnam later this month, so solutions to protect the supply chain can be implemented in September.

Last month, the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) requested the U.S. and Vietnamese governments to speed up the distribution of vaccines to major suppliers of Adidas, Gap, and other brands.

The U.S. has so far given 5 million doses of Moderna vaccines to Vietnam through the glocal vaccine mechanism Covax.

Vietnam so far has received 19 million doses of Covid -19 vaccine from the deal with VNVC, the global vaccine access mechanism Covax, and as support from other countries. This includes 11.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, 12,000 doses of Sputnik V, 746,000 doses of Pfizer, more than 5 million doses of Moderna, and 1.5 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine.

Around 12.5 million of the country’s 96 million people have got at least one shot of a Covid-19 vaccine. More than 1.3 million people have been fully vaccinated with two shots.

 
 
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