Vietnam offers to build Covid vaccine production factory for global supply

By Le Nga   May 31, 2021 | 11:43 pm PT
Vietnam offers to build Covid vaccine production factory for global supply
An employee for Nanogen operates a vaccine assembly chain for Nanocovax, a Vietnamese Covid-19 vaccine, in HCMC, December 8, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The Ministry of Health has proposed joining the Covid-19 vaccine tech transfer process by building a domestic vaccine factory.

At an online meeting with a representative for global vaccine access mechanism Covax on Monday, Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said Vietnam is hastening progress on buying and receiving technologies for Covid-19 vaccine production so the country could be proactive in inoculating its population.

"Vietnam would invest in the factory and wish to be allowed franchising to supply vaccines for Covax, other countries and also Vietnam," said Long.

Vietnam highly regards the initiative of vaccine alliance GAVI and the WHO in creating the Covax mechanism, supplying two billion Covid-19 vaccine doses within 2021, ensuring equitable vaccine access for all countries, he said, adding it was an opportunity for all low-income countries to access Covid-19 vaccine resources.

Vietnam added it would contribute $500,000 toward Covax, stating it would like the latter to boost vaccine supplies and for countries and international organizations to continue supporting Vietnam regarding vaccine access and supply, especially as the domestic coronavirus situation grows ever more complex, he said.

Over a month into its fourth wave, which is by far the most challenging Vietnam has encountered, the country has recorded 4,407 cases in 36 of its 63 cities and provinces.

Bac Giang is leading the case count with 2,329 infections, followed by Bac Ninh with 866, Hanoi with 412 (including 93 in a locked down hospital) and Ho Chi Minh City with 208.

The country has so far received nearly 2.5 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from Covax. The mechanism has promised around 38.9 million vaccine doses for Vietnam within 2021.

Vietnam launched its mass Covid-19 inoculation program in March using a vaccine produced by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca. So far over a million people have been vaccinated.

The country aims to secure 150 million vaccine doses this year to cover 70 percent of its population.

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