$6 mln to help Khanh Hoa deploy free Covid-19 vaccination campaign

By Xuan Ngoc, Le Nga   March 18, 2021 | 04:00 am PT
$6 mln to help Khanh Hoa deploy free Covid-19 vaccination campaign
A medical worker at the Khanh Hoa Hospital for Tropical Diseases receives a Covid-19 vaccine shot, March 12, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Ngoc.
Khanh Hoa People's Committee plans to leverage VND140 billion ($6.1 million) to buy Covid-19 vaccines and inoculate its population for free.

The decision has been approved by the provincial Standing Party Committee, Nguyen Tan Tuan, chairman of the central province's People's Committee, said Wednesday.

The VND140 billion would be derived from the national budget and other sources. Besides prioritized groups, Khanh Hoa plans to buy around two million vaccine doses to cover all its citizens aged 18 and above for free. The province's population is about 1.2 million.

The province would request the Ministry of Health and seek approval from the Prime Minister to choose what type of Covid-19 vaccine to buy, said Tuan.

As Vietnam began its mass Covid-19 vaccination campaign earlier this month, 100 vaccine doses have been distributed by the Health Ministry for Khanh Hoa, where 100 medical workers at the Khanh Hoa Hospital for Tropical Diseases have been inoculated.

The province has recorded 83 Covid-19 cases in total since the coronavirus first appeared.

As of Thursday, over 24,000 people in Vietnam have been vaccinated with the first shot of a Covid-19 vaccine produced by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca. They include frontline workers in the Covid-19 fight, doctors, nurses and contact tracers.

Priority is given to 13 cities and provinces that recorded coronavirus outbreaks in the recent wave, with Hai Duong receiving the most shots, over 12,000, followed by Hanoi at over 3,700.

Besides Khanh Hoa, other cities and provinces have also decided to buy Covid-19 vaccines for their citizens. Hanoi for example has requested the health ministry to help it buy 15 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for its citizens aged 18 and above, prioritizing those most at risk of infection. HCMC, Quang Ninh and Dong Nai have also followed suit.

Vietnam has ordered 30 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses, with 117,600 doses having arrived last month. Around 5 million more are expected to come until April, provided through global vaccine access mechanism Covax, UNICEF and other contracts.

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