WHO experts to help Vietnam with Covid vaccine research, production

By Viet Tuan   June 25, 2021 | 01:18 am PT
WHO experts to help Vietnam with Covid vaccine research, production
A medical worker inoculates another person with a Covid-19 vaccine in HCMC, June 21, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
The WHO on Thursday said it would send its experts to Vietnam to assist with Covid-19 vaccine research and production.

In a telephonic meeting with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh lauded the decision, adding Vietnam supports efforts for global medical cooperation and highly regards the WHO's role in coordinating international efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic while promoting equitable vaccine access.

As the pandemic continues to unfold in several areas, especially with the appearance of new variants, Chinh requested the WHO to support and prioritize Vietnam to receive Covid-19 vaccines provided through global mechanism Covax. Vietnam would carry out its Covid-19 vaccine program effectively, safely and timely, he added.

Chinh also requested the WHO to support and assist Vietnam in becoming a Covid-19 vaccine production center for the West Pacific region, adding Vietnamese businesses and medical forces are capable of producing Covid-19 vaccines to international standards.

In response, Tedros said the WHO acknowledged Vietnam's request to be prioritized in gaining access to Covid-19 vaccine sources and becoming a vaccine production center for the region.

The ongoing global vaccine shortage has affected Covax supplies to several countries, including Vietnam, said Tedros, adding he thanks the Vietnamese government for having committed $500,000 toward the Covax program. He also expressed his gratitude to Vietnam for having received and treated a U.N. employee infected with Covid-19 recently, adding the WHO would do its best to support Vietnam's pandemic fight.

Vietnam since March has inoculated around three million people with the AstraZeneca vaccine. The country aims to secure around 150 million vaccine doses this year to cover 70 percent of its population.

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