Health ministry admits to difficulty in securing Covid vaccines

By Viet Tuan   April 15, 2021 | 11:02 am GMT+7
Health ministry admits to difficulty in securing Covid vaccines
A medical worker at the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases checks a Covid-19 vaccine vial by AstraZeneca before inoculation, March 8, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
There are "challenges" to securing Covid-19 vaccines, and the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe despite reports of adverse reactions, the Health Ministry has said.

Speaking at a meeting Wednesday with the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said there is a shortage of vaccines globally, and countries are racing to secure supply.

Vietnam needs to secure its supply as soon as possible, but has faced challenges and difficulties in doing so, and "risks" might have to be taken to gain access to vaccines, he said without elaborating.

The ministry said the Covid-19 vaccine produced by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca, currently being used for Vietnam’s vaccination program, is safe and it would continue to vaccinate frontline workers, soldiers, police officers, and other priority categories, and in fact sped up the task.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam instructed the ministry to make clear plans for negotiations to secure the vaccines.

Vietnam has vaccinated over 62,000 people with the AstraZeneca shot it has secured either through contracts with the manufacturer or global vaccine access mechanism Covax.

Reports of blood clots following the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine have prompted certain countries to temporarily suspend its use, with Denmark on Wednesday becoming the first country to stop using it altogether.

Vietnam has not reported any cases so far.

The country is developing four indigenous vaccines through Nanogen, the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, the Vaccine and Biological Production Company No. 1, and the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals.

It aims to secure 150 million doses to cover 70 percent of its population by next year.

 
 
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