ASEAN to acquire Covid-19 vaccines for members with $10.5 mln from response fund

By Vu Anh   February 18, 2021 | 08:46 pm PT
ASEAN to acquire Covid-19 vaccines for members with $10.5 mln from response fund
A medical worker handles a vial of Covid-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca. Photo by Reuters/Jason Cairnduff.
ASEAN has decided to spend $10.5 million from its coronavirus response fund to buy Covid-19 vaccines for member nations.

It made the decision on Thursday at the 6th ASEAN Coordinating Council Working Group of Public Health emergencies (ACCWG-PHE), which discussed Covid response initiatives.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung said providing vaccines is an urgent need and each member country needs to specify the types and volumes of vaccines they need.

He also commended using global mechanisms to provide Covid-19 vaccines such as Covax to meet ASEAN's needs, and said Vietnam is completing procedures to announce its contributions to the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies.

The fund was set up at the ASEAN Summit in June last year to mitigate the shortage of medical equipment, developing treatments and vaccines for Covid-19 and preparing for future emergencies.

It has received contributions of over $15 million from member countries and partners.

Vietnam has signed a deal to buy 30 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and is set to receive the first batch of 204,000 doses this month.

Its Southeast Asian neighbors Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Singapore have already launched vaccination programs.

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