Vietnam asks Covax for vaccine priority

By Viet Tuan   September 22, 2021 | 01:44 am PT
Vietnam asks Covax for vaccine priority
A batch of Covid-19 vaccine gifted by the U.S. via the Covax facility arrives at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, July 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has proposed the Covax facility to "quickly give as many Covid-19 vaccines as possible" to Vietnam.

At an online meeting with Aurélia Nguyen, managing director of Covax on Monday, PM Chinh said, "Vietnam is having difficulty ensuring enough vaccines for all" and suggested Covax complete all agreements on providing vaccines to the country within this year.

Covax should prioritize distributing vaccines to Vietnam "as quickly as possible and as many as possible, especially in September, October and November," said Chinh.

He asked Covax to provide the Moderna vaccine so Vietnam could administer second shots to those that have received the first. The Health Ministry has allowed the mixing of Pfizer and Moderna and given the second dose as Pfizer with receiver consent.

He also proposed the facility helps connect and shares information about countries with a surplus of vaccines or those that have been allocated vaccines but do not need them right away for Vietnam to borrow or buy.

Besides, Covax should also support Vietnam to strengthen international cooperation in technology to produce vaccines and Covid-19 treatment drugs and access vaccines for those under 18.

Chinh added Vietnam has contributed $500,000 to Covax, and promised more donations to the facility.

Aurélia Nguyen said Covax would "exert every effort to realize its commitments to Vietnam."

She also noted the country has carried out vaccination in a "smart, scientific, transparent, timely, and effective manner."

She said the global vaccine source has continued to suffer scarce supply and has faced challenges in ensuring enough vaccines for those in need.

But she promised that for next month, the facility would continue allocating 85 million vaccine doses to countries around the world, including Vietnam.

Vietnam has so far received 45 million Covid-19 vaccine doses of different types, including 11.7 million via Covax, or Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access, a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines directed by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and the World Health Organization.

The nation has administered 28 million single Covid-19 vaccine doses, and 6.6 million double doses.

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