More than 97,000 Pfizer vaccine doses land in Vietnam

By Le Nga   July 6, 2021 | 11:47 pm GMT-8
More than 97,000 Pfizer vaccine doses land in Vietnam
Vietnamese and American officials check a container of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine that arrived in Hanoi, July 7, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Tran Minh.
A batch of 97,111 Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine doses arrived at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport on Wednesday morning.

The batch forms part of a contract for 31 million vaccine doses developed by American firm Pfizer and German BioNTech Inc.

The vaccine called Comirnaty is developed from the messenger RNA or mRNA, which contains the instructions for human cells to construct a harmless piece of the coronavirus called the spike protein.

Based on evidence from clinical trials among people aged 16 years and older, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 95 percent effective and requires two doses given 21 days apart, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Since Sept. 9 last year, as the vaccine entered its final phase of trials, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has sought to obtain a batch for domestic distribution.

After 20 meetings and discussions in over 10 months, the ministry had signed a contract with the developer on June 7 to buy 31 million doses, Deputy Minister Truong Quoc Cuong said.

The vaccine purchase is funded by the state at an undisclosed price.

The ministry said earlier it expects three million doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines to be delivered in the third quarter, and 27-28 million doses in the fourth.

On June 12, Vietnam had approved the vaccine for emergency use.

The U.S. last week also announced the destinations of 55 million doses of vaccines it was going to donate, with Vietnam being one of them. The first two million doses of Moderna vaccine are expected to arrive in Vietnam around the weekend.

Vietnam has garnered commitments for the supply of 105 million doses from different sources.

The country is negotiating for an additional 45 million doses, aiming to secure 150 million vaccine doses this year to cover 70 percent of the population.

It has been using the AstraZeneca vaccine for its inoculation program thus far. Over 3.92 million people have been vaccinated to date, and 235,570 or 0.2 percent of the population have received two shots.

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