|The shipment of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines arriving in Vietnam today |
The shipment is part of the 80 million doses of vaccine that the President of the United States committed in May from the US vaccine supply, of which approximately 41 million doses are shared through COVAX, to support global needs.
Speaking at a ceremony marking the arrival, Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Christopher Klein, said, “The shipment gives us hope that there is an end in sight to our fight against COVID-19. It gives us hope that we will be able to return to our normal lives.”
Vietnam has successfully managed its response to the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020. However, due to global supply constraints, vaccination rates are still low, with about 4 per cent of the population vaccinated to date while the number of infections have been rising sharply in the last few weeks.
“The UN welcomes the first US government donation of COVID-19 vaccines via COVAX’s dose-sharing mechanism which arrived in Vietnam today,” said Kamal Malhotra, the UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam. “The clearest pathway out of the pandemic is equitable access to vaccination for healthcare workers and priority groups such as the elderly and those with co-morbidities in every country. Dose donations are an immediate and urgent way to address this. We continue to call on well-supplied countries to donate doses now to protect those most at risk as soon as possible.”
The US is committed to working with partners across the globe to end the public health and economic effects of this pandemic. Through USAID, the United States has contributed $2 billion to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to support the purchase and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to 92 low- and middle- income countries, and we plan to commit another $2 billion by 2022, making the US the largest financial donor to COVAX. This contribution to COVAX is supporting equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for the world’s most vulnerable and at-risk populations, including frontline healthcare workers. In Vietnam, in addition to this vaccine donation, the US has contributed over $17.7 million in COVID-19 related assistance to Vietnam since the start of the pandemic.
In addition to the July shipment, Vietnam has previously received 2,493,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine via the COVAX Facility. The COVAX Facility is co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI), GAVI – the Vaccine Alliance, and UNICEF as a key delivery partner.
Since the arrival of the first shipment of vaccines from the COVAX Facility in early April, close to four million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Vietnam. The additional vaccines will help the Ministry of Health to expand coverage and reach more people from priority groups, contributing to attaining the country’s target of vaccinating more than 70 per cent of population by the end of the first quarter of 2022.
While the continuous arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility is encouraging, it will take some time for every priority group to be vaccinated. Thus, it is essential to continue 5K practices to reduce virus transmission: wear face masks, wash hands regularly, practice physical distancing, stop gathering, and fill out health declarations.