Vietnam Receives 811,000 Doses of AstraZeneca Vaccine via COVAX

UMMATIMES - Vietnam on Thursday received 811,000 doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, which is the first shipment under the global vaccine sharing scheme --COVAX.

Previously, deliveries were delayed for one week due to limited supplies. The Southeast Asian country, which started its coronavirus vaccination program last month, is targeting a total of 30 million doses of vaccine through the COVAX facility.

Thursday's deliveries bring the number of AstraZeneca vaccines in Vietnam to nearly 930,000 doses so far. Vietnam wants to diversify its supply of vaccines from a wider variety of sources, including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sinovac from China, and Sputnik V from Russia.

During a meeting with Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long on Wednesday, the Russian Embassy in Hanoi offered to help Vietnam produce Sputnik V locally, the health ministry said in a statement.

Long also said Vietnam would approve a Chinese vaccine within weeks, after Sinovac submitted the necessary documents. Vietnam is one of the few countries in Asia that has not used the Chinese vaccine.

Vietnam has been praised for successfully containing the coronavirus through mass testing and tracking and strict quarantine, which has brought total infections to 2,603 ​​cases, with 35 deaths. Nearly 50,000 people in Vietnam have been vaccinated.

Vietnam's first domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine, called Nanocovax, is expected to enter use in 2022. Four Vietnamese companies are involved in vaccine research and production, and two of them are in the human trials phase. (Between / Ant)