Cuba to gift Vietnam 150,000 Covid vaccines

By Nguyen Tien   September 20, 2021 | 08:27 pm PT
Cuba to gift Vietnam 150,000 Covid vaccines
Doses of Cuba's Abdala coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine are seen at a vaccination center in Caracas, Venezuela, July 1, 2021. Photo by Reuters/Manaure Quintero
The Cuban defense ministry has promised to donate 150,000 doses of the country's indigenous Abdala Covid-19 vaccine to Vietnam along with drugs to treat the disease.

The decision was announced at a meeting Monday between Alvaro Lopez Mieram, Cuban Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, and Deputy Minister of Defense Hoang Xuan Chien.

Chien is part of a delegation led by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc visiting Cuba.

Alvaro said the vaccines and drugs would be sent to Vietnam along with the delegation, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

Chien thanked Cuba for the drugs and experts it has already dispatched to Vietnam to help with the Covid fight, and said that Vietnam would send Cuba 100 tons of corn and VND10 billion ($439,948) in cash and medical equipment as Covid-19 fight support.

The two sides also agreed to draw up a five-year plan for medical cooperation between their militaries.

Vietnam has also said it would buy 10 million doses of Abdala after its Ministry of Health approved it for emergency use last Friday.

Cuba approved emergency use of the Abdala vaccine in July after manufacturers said it was more than 92 percent effective with three doses. It is seeking approval for the vaccine from the World Health Organization, which has begun the verification process.

Abdala is the eighth Covid-19 vaccine approved for emergency use in Vietnam. The others are the U.K.'s AstraZeneca, the U.S.'s Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, Russia's SputnikV, China's Sinopharm, and the UAE's Hayat-Vax.

Vietnam has vaccinated around 30 million people, with 6.6 million getting two shots.

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