|The third batch of COVAX vaccines is expected to arrive at Vietnam in July |
Rana Flowers, representative of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Vietnam, said that COVID-19 vaccine for countries, supplied by the COVAX Facility via UNICEF, is being considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is expected to be delivered in July.
Vietnam is one of the beneficiaries of COVAX, Rana Flowers said at a meeting with Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long yesterday (June 9). This will be the third COVID-19 vaccine supplied by COVAX to Vietnam and the volume of the batch has yet to be revealed. the first batch from COVAX contained more than 800,000 doses, and the next one delivered 1.7 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines.
A survey implemented by UNICEF and its partner said that 67 per cent of Vietnamese respondents are ready for vaccination. "Such a high ratio," said Rana Flowers.
Thereby, Minister Long hoped to receive vaccines as soon as possible, in July, August, and September. "People will be vaccinated with as many vaccines as arrive. We commit that Vietnamese would be vaccinated equally and effectively," said the minister.
"The Ministry of Health (MoH) has been approaching all vaccine suppliers to make sure that 70-75 per cent of the population will be vaccinated to build community immunity, before opening the economy and allowing international travel. However, vaccine supplies reach Vietnam too late," said Long.
In order to preserve COVID-19 vaccines, UNICEF representative said that 1,910 large-capacity refrigerators will be shipped to Vietnam at the end of July. This is the first batch of cold equipment in the support package financed by the Australian government's budget.
Additionally, UNICEF has ordered five refrigerated trucks specialised in transporting vaccines that will arrive at Vietnam in August and September, while UNICEF will also deliver five million needles and syringes to Vietnam.
As of the end of May, over one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered to target priority groups, primarily frontline workers, medical staff, and members of COVID-19 steering committees, since the country started its COVID-19 vaccination drive on March 8, 2021.
The MoH has negotiated with many countries, organisations, and vaccine producers, resulting in 110 million doses of vaccines promised for Vietnam, including 31 million doses from the COVAX Facility, 30 million purchased from AstraZeneca, and likely another 31 million from Pfizer/BioNTech.
The ministry has registered with COVAX to buy an additional 10 million doses under the cost-sharing mechanism, while working with other suppliers to diversify sources of supplies, including Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sputnik V, and Sinovac.