Vietnam asks Singapore for Covid-19 vaccines

By Huyen Le   September 7, 2021 | 04:47 pm PT
Vietnam asks Singapore for Covid-19 vaccines
People at a Covid-19 vaccination station in Hanoi in July, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son has asked Singapore for support with Covid-19 vaccines, emphasizing that it was an urgent issue for Vietnam now.

In a phone call with his Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan Tuesday, minister Son expressed high appreciation of Singapore's support so far, especially its commitment to provide essential medical equipment and supplies to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

A foreign ministry statement said that Son stressed the issue's urgency for Vietnam in order to protect the health of its people, including experts and foreign citizens living and working in Vietnam.

Son congratulated Singapore on becoming the first country in the world to have 80 percent of the national population with two doses, and suggested that it considers supporting or transferring spare vaccine doses to Vietnam as soon as possible, either via government aid or the Covax facility.

Foreign Minister Balakrishnan said Singapore always attached importance to its strategic partnership with Vietnam and believed Vietnam will soon control the pandemic.

He said Singapore was ready to support nearby countries, including Vietnam, with medical equipment, test kits as well as vaccines as soon as possible.

He hoped that the two sides could soon reopen their borders, facilitating the travel of citizens of both countries.

In their talks, the two ministers agreed to organize soon the 14th political consultation between their foreign ministries in preparation for upcoming high-level visits.

Singapore's Temasek Foundation on Monday presented Vietnam with 16 ventilators and hundreds of thousands of medical protective gear.

Vietnam aims to receive 150 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to inoculate 70 percent of its 96-million population in order to achieve herd immunity by April next year.

So far, more than 22.67 million people have been vaccinated, with over 3.4 million getting two doses.

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