Aug 25, 2021 / 17:47

US to donate Vietnam one million Pfizer vaccine doses: Harris

So far, Vietnam is the 7th largest recipient of US-donated vaccines worldwide.

Vice President Harris announced today [August 25] that the US would donate Vietnam one million Pfizer vaccine doses which will be delivered in the next 24 hours.

 US Vice President Kamala Harris and Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on August 25. Photo: VNA

Harris shared the news at the meeting with Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Wednesday morning, according to the US Embassy in Hanoi.

Half of the doses will arrive in Hanoi and half in Ho Chi Minh City.

The addition of the US vaccine donation to Vietnam has totaled six million doses.

Speaking at the launch of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Southeast Asia Regional Office in Hanoi on Wednesday afternoon that the donation is “free-of-charge” and “no strings attached.”

Of the total 27.7 million vaccine doses that Washington shared with 11 countries and territories in Asia-Pacific, Vietnam received five million doses. The relief ranks Vietnam the 7th largest recipient out of more than 60 countries receiving US-donated vaccines.

Donating Vietnam more vaccines is one of the issues expected in Harris’s visit by a number of foreign experts.

Carl Thayer, emeritus professor at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Canberra, predicted that Harris and the hosts likely announce a range of initiatives focusing on cooperation to strengthen their comprehensive partnership, the foremost being combating and recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

 US Chargé d'Affaires to Vietnam Christopher Klein (L) and Vietnam's Deputy Health Minister Tran Van Thuan with US-donate vaccines in Hanoi in early August. Photo: US Department of State

Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc told local media when Vietnam received five US-donated million doses that the White House might donate more to the Southeast Asian country.

Ngoc attributed the donation to the US foreign policy, Vietnam’s vaccine diplomacy, and more importantly the US returning Vietnam’s gesture in early 2020 when Covid-19 spread in the US.

“American people never forget our assistance at their hard times. Today, many of our American partners have reminded it,” Ngoc said in a recent interview with Toquoc newspaper.

According to the ambassador, several batches of personal protective equipment made in Vietnam were exported to the US. The DuPont protective suits were made in that period equal to one-ninth of the time required in normal condition thanks to the government of Vietnam’s facilitation.

Ngoc said mutual and timely support in the pandemic has contributed significantly to the partnership and building trust between the two countries. It results from the decades-long cooperation in the health sector between Vietnam and the US through the operations of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Regarding the pandemic fight in Vietnam, the US has pledged to finance the country US$20.9 million, in addition to technical support and five million doses of the Moderna vaccine.

The US government has also funded $4 billion to the COVAX Facility, the global vaccine sharing that Vietnam is one of the recipients.

According to the USAID, 77 ultra-low temperature freezers with a total value of $691,000 together with laboratory and testing equipment are scheduled to arrive in Vietnam in early September. This assistance will provide one unit to each of the 63 provinces in Vietnam and 14 larger units at the national level for Covid-19 vaccine storage.