Businesses not allowed to import and administer Covid-19 vaccines on their own

By Viet Tuan   March 23, 2021 | 08:13 pm GMT+7
Businesses not allowed to import and administer Covid-19 vaccines on their own
A medical worker at the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases receives a Covid-19 vaccine shot by AstraZeneca, March 8, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
Businesses in Vietnam would not be allowed to import Covid-19 vaccines to perform inoculation themselves, the Ministry of Health said.

Only the health ministry reserves the right to manage and collaborate with relevant authorities to buy, import, receive, sponsor and administer Covid-19 vaccines in accordance with a government resolution, a health ministry representative told a Monday meeting with the National Steering Committee on Covid-19 Prevention and Control.

Currently, manufacturers of authorized Covid-19 vaccines around the globe all negotiate directly with the Vietnamese Ministry of Health. Vaccines approved by the health ministry can be imported through certain businesses whose purpose is to import vaccines, but inoculation must occur under the coordination of the health ministry.

Since Vietnam started administering the vaccine produced by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca to prioritized groups, concerns have been raised in certain countries regarding its possible side effects, including blood clots, leading to the slowing down or temporary suspension of inoculation. However, Vietnam has commenced its vaccination campaign with safety in mind, along with monitoring vaccination status in accordance with individual digital health profiles as a preparatory step toward issuing "vaccine passports", the health ministry representative said.

Vietnam expects to receive 60 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses this year through global access mechanism Covax and its own contracts. The country aims for a total of 150 million doses this year to cover 70 percent of its population.

As of Tuesday, more than 36,000 Vietnamese have received their first AstraZeneca vaccine jabs.

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