HCMC negotiates purchase of 5 mln Moderna vaccine doses

By Huu Cong   August 11, 2021 | 04:00 pm PT
HCMC negotiates purchase of 5 mln Moderna vaccine doses
A healthcare worker holds a vial of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site operated by SOMOS Community Care during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 29, 2021. Photo by Reuters/Mike Segar.
HCMC is in negotiations to buy five million doses of the Moderna vaccine from an authorized distributor and is hoping to get two million doses delivered by October.

Duong Anh Duc, deputy chairman of the municipal People's Committee, said Wednesday that negotiations were ongoing with Zuellig Pharma Vietnam Co. Ltd, which represents U.S. pharmaceutical firm Moderna in Vietnam.

Zuellig Pharma had told the Health Ministry in May that it could provide five million Moderna vaccine doses for Vietnam. At that time, the ministry had said it supported HCMC purchasing it.

On Wednesday morning, the HCMC administration said that it has assigned Saigon Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Sapharco) and VinaCapital Ventures to negotiate the deal.

Sapharco has said it is waiting for Moderna representatives to move forward with negotiations and contracts to purchase the vaccines. If everything goes well, the vaccine doses should reach the city either in the last quarter of this year or the first quarter of the next.

Both VinaCapital and Sapharco have requested that at least two million Moderna doses are delivered this October, and are negotiating to have at least 10 million additional doses by the second quarter of next year as booster shots.

Ho Chi Minh City has also requested the health ministry to evaluate localities' demands for the Moderna vaccine to order more doses if needed.

Vietnam has vaccinated around 11.3 million people with at least one shot of Covid-19 vaccines. Over a million people have been fully vaccinated.

The country aims to achieve herd immunity by next year through vaccinating 70 percent of its 96 million population.

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