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Vietnam holds talks to procure Moderna's Covid vaccine

By Le Nga   May 28, 2021 | 06:44 pm PT
Vietnam holds talks to procure Moderna's Covid vaccine
A healthcare worker holds a vial of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site in Manhattan in New York City, U.S., January 29, 2021. Photo by Reuters/Mike Segar.
The Ministry of Health held a meeting Friday with a Moderna distributor to discuss supply of the U.S. company’s Covid-19 vaccine to Vietnam in the shortest possible time.

Zuellig Pharma executives assured Minister Nguyen Thanh Long they would soon discuss Vietnam’s demand with Moderna.

The Moderna vaccine is developed from messenger RNA, or mRNA, which contains instructions for human cells to construct a harmless piece of the coronavirus called the spike protein that triggers an immune response in the human bodies.

It has so far been authorized in 45 countries including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Singapore.

Moderna said earlier this week that trials of its vaccine in the U.S. showed it is safe and effective for teenagers.

Vietnam, which currently uses the vaccine produced by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca for its immunization program, has received nearly 2.9 million doses, 464,000 through commercial contracts and the rest through Covax, and vaccinated over a million of its 96-million population.

The ministry has struck commercial deals for 30 million doses and will get 38.9 million doses through Covax.

It has registered to buy another 10 million doses through Covax under a cost-sharing scheme to benefit from lower prices.

Besides, it has inked a deal to buy 31 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine this year.

Four vaccines are under development in the country by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, Vaccine and Biological Production Company No. 1, and Polyvac.

The nation is in the grip of a new wave of Covid transmissions, which in the last month has caused 3,595 infections in 33 cities and provinces.

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