Vietnam to get 31 million Pfizer vaccine doses this year

By Minh Nga   May 14, 2021 | 06:43 pm PT
Vietnam to get 31 million Pfizer vaccine doses this year
A vial and syringe are seen in front of a displayed Pfizer logo in this illustration taken January 11, 2021. Photo by Reuters/Dado Ruvic.
Vietnam will get 31 million Covid-19 vaccine doses developed by U.S.-based firm Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech Inc. this year, the Health Ministry said.

In a statement released Friday on its website, the ministry said it has cut deals to have 110 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine provided for Vietnam in 2021.

Of the sum, there will be 31 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, which is developed from the messenger RNA or mRNA, which contains the instructions for human cells to construct a harmless piece of the coronavirus called the spike protein, the ministry said without revealing further details on the contract.

For the remaining doses, 38.9 million of AstraZeneca vaccine, produced by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca and Oxford University, will be provided to Vietnam via the global vaccine access mechanism Covax, which is backed by the World Health Organization to distribute vaccines to low- and middle-income countries as announced late last month. Around 1.7 million doses under this program are scheduled to arrive in Vietnam on Sunday.

Aside from the vaccine provided by Covax, Vietnam had already secured a deal to have Vietnam Vaccine JSC (VNVC) buy 30 million doses from British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca. Of these, 117,600 doses have been delivered.

Besides, the ministry has also registered to buy about 10 million additional doses through Covax under the cost-sharing scheme to enjoy the lower prices.

Vietnam began its own Covid-19 inoculation program on March 8 after using the AstraZeneca vaccine that arrived either through contracts or Covax.

So far, over 969,697 people in 62 cities and provinces, or around 1 percent of the country's population, have been inoculated, mainly frontline workers of the Covid-19 fight and medics at local hospitals.

Vietnam's ongoing Covid-19 wave that broke out on April 27 has seen 808 local cases recorded in 26 cities and provinces.

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