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Vietnam to spend $32 mln on 5 mln Abdala vaccine doses

By Anh Minh   October 1, 2021 | 02:01 am PT
Vietnam to spend $32 mln on 5 mln Abdala vaccine doses
Vials of the Cuban Abdala vaccine candidate during a press conference of the Biotechnological and Pharmaceutical Industries of Cuba (BioCubaFarma) in Havana, on March 19, 2021. Photo by AFP/Katell Abiven
Over VND742 billion ($32.63 million) from Vietnam’s Covid-19 vaccine fund will be used to buy and transport five million Cuban Abdala Covid-19 vaccine doses.

As decided by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Thursday, the management, use, payment and settlement of the sum must comply with regulations, serve the right purposes and ensure that the sum is spent economically, efficiently, openly and transparently.

The government on Sept. 20 agreed to use the provision of "choosing contractors in special cases" to purchase 10 million Abdala vaccine doses from Cuba.

In a resolution issued Monday on buying Cuba's Abdala vaccine, produced by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), the government said the doses would be procured by a contractor chosen in line with the "special cases" regulation.

The vaccine employs a traditional approach by using a part of the spike protein, which the virus uses to bind to human cells, to build up the immune reaction.

Cuba approved emergency use of the Abdala vaccine on July 9 after manufacturers announced it was more than 92 percent effective with three doses.

Abdala is the eighth Covid-19 vaccine approved for emergency use in Vietnam. The others are British AstraZeneca, American Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, Russian Sputnik V, Chinese Sinopharm, and the UAE’s Hayat-Vax.

The government established the national Covid-19 vaccine fund in May to raise contributions from various sources and ease its financial burden.

Besides buying vaccines it is also used to fund their research and production.

The fund’s website stated it has raised VND8.692 trillion as of Friday.

Vietnam aims to obtain 150 million doses of vaccines to immunize 70 percent of its 96-million population by April next year.

By Thursday, 50.7 million doses of vaccines of different kinds had arrived in Vietnam, 32.7 million people had been vaccinated, including 9.5 million with two doses.

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