Vietnam grants $53 mln to purchase Covid-19 vaccines for mass inoculation

By Viet Tuan   April 1, 2021 | 06:00 pm PT
Vietnam grants $53 mln to purchase Covid-19 vaccines for mass inoculation
A nurse prepares Russia's Sputnik-V vaccine against the coronavirus disease for inoculation in a post-registration trials stage at a clinic in Moscow, Russia, September 17, 2020. Photo by Reuters.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved VND1.237 trillion ($53.6 million) from the state budget to be spent on Covid-19 vaccines as the country speeds up mass inoculation.

The Health Ministry has been assigned to use the money to buy Covid-19 vaccines in an efficient and economical way.

The move came as the Southeast Asian country aims to secure around 150 million vaccine doses to cover 70 percent of its population by 2022.

Vietnam received 811,200 doses of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine on Thursday, its first batch of vaccines under the global Covax scheme.

Vietnam’s vaccination campaign began on March 8 after a batch of 117,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were delivered in February. So far, over 51,000 Vietnamese, mainly frontline workers in the Covid-19 fight, have received their first Covid-19 vaccine shots.

The country is looking to diversify its procurement from more sources in Russia, the U.S. and China.

So far, Vietnam approved AstraZeneca's ChAdOx1 vaccine and Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use.

Vietnam ordered 30 million Covid-19 vaccine doses developed by British-Swedish company AstraZeneca in collaboration with Oxford University. However, its price details have not been revealed.

The country has also received contributions from several businesses to its fund for Covid-19 vaccine purchase.

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