Vietnam firms in talks with foreign manufacturers to obtain Covid vaccines

By Le Nga   March 24, 2021 | 08:30 pm PT
Vietnam firms in talks with foreign manufacturers to obtain Covid vaccines
A nurse prepares Russia's Sputnik-V vaccine against the coronavirus disease for inoculation at a clinic in Tver, Russia, October 12, 2020. Photo by Reuters/Tatyana Makeyeva.
Vietnamese companies are in negotiations with foreign Covid-19 vaccine producers amid global supply problems, the Ministry of Health said.

Amvibiotech Inc, Vabiotech and Vinmedimec are in talks with companies in the U.S. and India for diversification of vaccine sources as Vietnam seeks to obtain a total 150 million doses this year to immunize 70 percent of its population.

The Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals has reached a deal with Russia to import Sputnik V vaccine, but has disclosed no further details.

The government has so far approved the AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines.

Vietnam’s vaccination campaign began on March 8 after a batch of 117,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were delivered last month. They were part of 30 million doses Vietnam Vaccine JSC had ordered. The rest are expected to arrive between April and August.

On Wednesday UNICEF said on behalf of the Covax vaccine-sharing facility that the delivery of vaccines to all countries would be delayed due to production delays.

Over 811,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine via Covax will arrive in Hanoi next month and not March 25 as previously announced.

Covax, or the Global Covid-19 Vaccine Facility, is a global mechanism for facilitating and supporting member countries in procuring the vaccines as they become available.

So far in Vietnam 39,817 medical and other frontline workers in 19 localities have received a first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Though there has been one case of third-degree and five cases of second-degree anaphylaxis, everyone vaccinated is now in stable condition, allowing the country to continue with the inoculation program.

Vietnam expects to start producing its own vaccine by the end of the third quarter, according to the ministry.

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