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Ensure affordable access to Covid-19 vaccines, Vietnam PM exhorts

By Dac Thanh   December 27, 2020 | 05:51 am PT
Ensure affordable access to Covid-19 vaccines, Vietnam PM exhorts
A volunteer is injected with Nanocovax in Hanoi as the Vietnamese Covid-19 vaccine entered human trials on December 17, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huy Manh.
On the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness, a Vietnamese initiative, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said it was incumbent on the international community to ensure affordable access to Covid-19 vaccines.

In a message delivered Sunday, Phuc encouraged nations, organizations and individuals to endorse the United Nations General Assembly's newly adopted resolution proclaiming December 27 as the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness, with a focus on three main areas.

The first would be forging stronger policy coordination and unity, attaching due importance to international cooperation and the efforts of multilateral institutions centered around the United Nations.

"This will enable us to curb the Covid-19 pandemic, and prevent and combat epidemics effectively," he said.

Second, people's interests must be at the heart of all policies and actions. In the near future, in particular, nations need to ensure affordable access to Covid-19 vaccines and treatment for people in all countries and territories.

"Third, we should actively adapt to the new normal," the PM said, adding that a cohesive and holistic mix of solutions was needed to promote economic recovery while fighting the pandemic. For this, cross-border trade and investment had to be promoted and supply chains maintained, especially of essential goods, food, and medical supplies.

He noted that with broad support and participation of the entire population, Vietnam has kept the pandemic under control, maintained social welfare, improved economic recovery and managed remarkable growth.

The United Nations General Assembly earlier this month approved a resolution drafted by Vietnam to declare December 27 as the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness.

The resolution was adopted unanimously. Canada, the Grenadines, Niger, Saint Vincent, Senegal and Spain co-authored the resolution and 107 countries co-sponsored it.

The world is still struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic, which first broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

Of a current total of nearly 80.8 million infections, more than 1.76 million have died of respiratory diseases caused by the novel coronavirus. The U.S., India and Brazil have the largest number of cases in the world.

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