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Vietnam seeks COVID-19 vaccine supply from Russia, China, India

Vietnam is seeking new COVID-19 vaccine supply sources from Russia, China, and India to ensure its plan on vaccinating all citizens this year.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long convened a working session with the Embassies of China, India, and Russia on Wednesday to discuss the supply of COVID-19 vaccine.

According to Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo, more than 100 million citizens in China have received COVID-19 vaccination.

The East Asian country has also provided vaccine aid to 69 countries.

China has rolled out COVID-19 vaccine passport policy, which gives priority to those who have received Chinese vaccines.

Minister Long requested China to provide Vietnam with vaccine support so that the latter can vaccinate individuals belonging to target groups listed by the government.

Vabiotech Company under the Ministry of Health is in charge of negotiating with Chinese partners and assessing their vaccine resources and availability.

If all conditions are met, the vaccine will be licensed within two weeks, Long stated.

Meanwhile, two COVID-19 vaccines are being manufactured in India, including that developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and Covaxin manufactured by India’s Bharat Biotech.

Vietnam's Duc Minh Company, which specializes in vaccine exports and imports, has proposed that the health ministry issue a license for Covaxin.

Vietnam seeks India’s cooperation in the human trial of the former’s homegrown COVID-19 vaccine, said Minister Long.

Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Pranay Verma stated he will discuss with local vaccine producers regarding cooperation methods.

With regard to Russia’s vaccine, Vietnam has approved Sputnik V for emergency use in the country.    

However, the supply of this vaccine in the Southeast Asian country remains unclear.

Vietnam expects to acquire 150 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in total this year, with 60 million AstraZeneca shots already secured via direct purchases and the COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme.

The distribution of these vaccine doses, however, will be slower compared to the original plan.

Vietnam is conducting human trials of two of its domestic COVID-19 vaccines, namely Nanocovax and Covivac.

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