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Vietnam to receive 5.6 million Covid-19 vaccine doses

By Le Nga   March 9, 2021 | 05:58 am PT
Vietnam to receive 5.6 million Covid-19 vaccine doses
A medic holds a vial of Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca that is used to be injected for medical staff in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, March 9, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Tran Hoa.
More than four million doses of Covax-funded AstraZeneca vaccine and 1.48 million other doses Vietnam has ordered will arrive this month and next.

According to the national Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), Vietnam will receive 4.177 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine via the Covax program with support from the UNICEF.

The Covax, or the Global Covid-19 Vaccine Facility, is a global mechanism for the development, manufacture and procurement of Covid-19 vaccine candidates, facilitating and supporting member countries to access vaccines as they become available.

Under this, 1.373 million doses are slated to arrive on March 25 and the rest in April. The vaccine is produced by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca in collaboration with Oxford University.

Covax has pledged to provide Vietnam with 4.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the first half and around 33 million doses in the second half of this year.

Also within April, 1.48 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that Vietnam had ordered to buy via the Vietnam Vaccine JSC will also be delivered.

In all, Vietnam has ordered 30 million doses and 117,600 doses had arrived late last month. A large-scale vaccination program was launched Monday, with priority given to frontline medical workers, military, and police forces.

On Monday and Tuesday, 468 medical and other frontline workers in HCMC, Hanoi, the northern province of Hai Duong and the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai received the first dose of the vaccine. No one has showed any adverse reactions so far, according to the Health Ministry.

In the latest outbreak of community transmission that broke out January 28, Vietnam has registered 894 cases, including one confirmed Tuesday evening in epicenter Hai Duong, which alone has accounted for as many as 710 cases.

The latest outbreak has been basically been under controlled as 10 out of 13 affected localities, including HCMC and Hanoi, have not recorded any new infections in 24 days.

Vietnam is expected to acquire 150 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from foreign and domestic sources by 2022.

Besides the deal with AstraZeneca, Vietnam is also stepping up negotiations with the U.S.’s Pfizer and Moderna, along with other vaccine manufacturers in Russia and China.

Four indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccines are in the works. Human trials for Nanocovax, produced by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, began last December; and for Covivac, produced by the health ministry’s Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, are expected to begin soon.

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