17.02.2021, 04:34

Vietnam set to receive five million COVID-19 vaccine doses in February

Roughly 117,000 other doses are set to be imported, Deputy Health Minister Truong Quoc Cuong said, with their arrival set to be  by the end of February providing that flights and procedures are completed according to schedule.

With regard to administering the doses, a total of five million people will receive an initial shot of the vacine before receiving a booster jab three months later. Around two to five million people on the frontline of the fight against the virus will be prioritised to get the vaccine.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc stated that importing COVID-19 vaccines should be a priority moving forward for the Government, while also calling for swift progress to be made on research into domestic COVID-19 vaccines.

"Within February, there will be vaccine doses provided by the United Nations and other buying sources, while domestic production needs to be boosted as well," the PM said.

The Ministry of Health will be tasked with choosing the vaccines and relevant partners, therefore determining who is prioritised to be vaccinated and co-operating alongside the Ministry of Finance to propose the budget for purchasing vaccines.

Most notably, the nation has reached a deal to receive 30 million doses of a vaccine developed by British-Swedish company AstraZeneca in collaboration with Oxford University during the first half of the year. The country is also stepping up negotiations with both Pfizer and Moderna, two firms from the United States, along with other vaccine manufacturers based in Russia and China.

Covax announced last month that it will provide between 4.9 million and 8.2 million vaccine doses to the country during the first half of the year.

Furthermore, the nation has four domestic COVID-19 vaccines developed by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, the Vaccine and Biological Production Company No. 1, and the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals.

Nanocovax, produced by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, has also finished its first phase of human trials and is expected to begin the second one this month. In addition, Covivac of the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals is expected to commence human trials this month.