Hai Duong seeks Covid-19 vaccine aid from India

By Chi Le   February 23, 2021 | 04:54 am PT
Hai Duong seeks Covid-19 vaccine aid from India
Officials unload boxes containing vials of Covishield vaccine outside a vaccination storage center in Ahmedabad, India. Photo by Reuters/Amit Dave.
Hai Duong, Vietnam's current Covid-19 epicenter, has requested the Indian government to provide non-refundable aid of 200,000 to 300,000 vaccine doses to support its pandemic fight.

In a proposal sent to the Indian Embassy in Hanoi, provincial authorities said the Indian-manufactured vaccine will be used to inoculate frontline workers and those at high-risk of contracting the novel coronavirus in order to help the province better control the pandemic situation.

Hai Duong Province, around 60 kilometers from Hanoi, is the hardest hit locality in Vietnam in the new outbreak that began January 28 after 55 days without a single community transmission.

So far, it has recorded 625 cases in the new wave. The entire province is under a 15-day social distancing order starting February 16 as per a government directive.

Due to limited vaccine resources in Vietnam, the Health Ministry announced Monday a priority list of those to be vaccinated first, including medics, frontline workers, teachers and those working in the aviation and tourism sectors.

Vietnam needs 150 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to cover around 70 percent of its 98-million strong population. Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has said that the country has signed deals to buy 30 million doses from the British producer AstraZeneca apart from procuring 30 million doses provided through global initiative Covax.

It is also stepping up negotiations with U.S. companies Pfizer and Moderna and vaccine manufacturers in Russia and some other countries.

Earlier, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives have received India's Covid-19 vaccines under grant assistance as part of its policy to help partner countries fight against the Covid-19 crisis.

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