Feb 26, 2021 / 15:30

Prime Minister allows Hanoi to buy Covid-19 vaccine

Hanoi proposed the Vietnamese government to create mechanism for provinces and cities to directly contact Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has authorized a number of localities including Hanoi and Hai Phong porty city to buy Covid-19 vaccines with funding from their own budget and other financial sources.

The prime minister assigned the Ministry of Health to provide guidance to the two cities on vaccine purchasing procedures at a meeting on February 25.

Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Chu Xuan Dung has proposed the Vietnamese government to create mechanism for provinces and cities to directly contact Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers.

 Hanoi plans to buy Covid-19 vaccines with funding from their own budget and other financial sources. Photo: Trung Kien

The vice chairman also expressed his hope that the Ministry of Health to prioritize allocating vaccines to Hanoi.

Chairman of the Hai Phong city People's Committee Nguyen Van Tung, besides requesting the Ministry of Health to soon allocate Covid-19 vaccines to the port city, said Hai Phong authorities have decided to purchase vaccines for its two million people with finance sourced from its own budget.

Earlier, on February 3, the Hanoi Party Committee said it would work with the Ministry of Health to seek the government’s approval of the city's plan to pay for its own Covid-19 vaccination.

Vaccine shots would be prioritized for those most likely to be infected by the novel coronavirus, the Hanoi Party Committee said.

Hanoi, home to more than eight million people, has recorded 36 infections in the latest community transmission outbreak.

On February 24, ten containers with 117,600 Covid-19 vaccine doses produced by the AstraZeneca company were unloaded at HCMC's Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

The vaccines would be administered with priority to those on the frontlines of the pandemic fight, including medical workers, doctors, nurses, contact tracers and officials involved in the Covid-19 prevention and control committees.

Vietnam is planning a mass Covid-19 vaccination campaign for its nearly 100 million population.

The country is also developing its own Covid-19 vaccines, with four currently in the works. Human trials for Nanocovax, produced by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, began last December, while Covivac, produced by the health ministry’s Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, is expected to begin human trials after the Lunar New Year holiday in mid-February.

The new outbreak began January 28 after Vietnam went 55 clean days in a row. Since then, a total of 827 community transmissions have been recorded in 13 localities, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The national coronavirus tally has gone up to 2,421, with 35 deaths.