Vietnam taps EU, US, Japan for Covid-19 vaccine access

By Le Nga   April 2, 2021 | 02:00 am PT
Vietnam taps EU, US, Japan for Covid-19 vaccine access
A shipment of Covid-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca under Covax scheme arrives at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, April 1, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Phan Cong.
Vietnam has sought assistance from the EU, the U.S. and Japan for accessing Covid-19 vaccine sources, the Ministry of Health said.

In a meeting with diplomats and international institutions Thursday, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long told U.S. ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink that Vietnam was seeking access to Covid-19 vaccines already approved by the U.S., including those produced by Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.

Kritenbrink suggested the formation of temporary U.S.-Vietnam joint teams to follow up on this issue.

Long also requested Japan to help and share its Covid-19 vaccine sources, including cooperating in technology transfer so that the vaccines could be produced and tested in Vietnam.

Yamada Takio, the Japanese ambassador, said Vietnam and Japan have supported each other in the Covid-19 fight. In a dialogue late last month with Party Chief and State President Nguyen Phu Trong, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Japan would provide ¥220 million ($1.8 million) to support Vietnam’s efforts to counter the pandemic.

Giorgio Aliberti, the EU ambassador to Vietnam, said the EU has already sponsored global vaccine access mechanism Covax with more than $2.5 billion. Vietnam recently received 811,200 Covid-19 vaccine doses from the facility, he noted. Long asked that the EU continues to help Vietnam by facilitating access to Covid-19 vaccine sources in Europe.

Vietnam aims to secure 150 million Covid-19 vaccine doses this year to cover 70 percent of its population. It has so far received over 900,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses from British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca, either through direct orders or the Covax facility.

As of Friday, over 51,000 Vietnamese had received their first Covid-19 vaccine shots, mainly frontline workers in the pandemic fight.

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