04.01.2021, 18:21

Vietnam to buy 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from UK

Vietnam to buy 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from UK
Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

The ministry is also seeking to purchase vaccines from the US’ Pfizer-BioNTech, Russia’s Sputnik V, and China’s Sinovac, Deputy Health Minister Truong Quoc Cuong told a government meeting Monday.

He said the Ministry is close to an agreement with AstraZeneca to guarantee supply of 30 million doses of vaccine between the first and fourth quarters of 2021. The vaccine will be administered by two doses per person.

The AstraZeneca and Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine is cheaper than some others and can be stored at fridge temperature, which makes it easier to transport and use, particularly in developing countries.

The vaccine developed by AstraZeneca costs 2-3 USD per dose, The Guardian reported. Mr. Cuong also said Vietnam would be eligible to buy vaccines from the World Health Organization’s COVAX program to cover 16%, or 15.6 million of its almost 98 million population, but said more information would be available in the first quarter.

Vietnam started human trials of its first homegrown vaccine Nanocovax last month and is scheduled to conduct clinical trials of its second locally-made vaccine this month.

The Russian maker of the Sputnik V vaccine is asking to manufacture the vaccine in Vietnam under a technology transfer agreement with a company under the management of the Vietnamese Health Ministry.