Jul 23, 2021 / 16:40

Vietnam receives additional 1.2 mln AstraZeneca vaccine doses

The British-Swedish inoculant currently accounts for 77% of the country's Covid-19 vaccine supply.

An additional 1.2 million doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, part of the purchase of 30 million doses from the company in 2021, arrived at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on July 23.

The fifth batch, part of an installment delivery between AstraZeneca and Vietnam Vaccine JSC (VNVC), is the largest so far.

 A man receives a Covid-19 vaccine shot in Ho Chi Minh City on June 21, 2021. Photo: Huu Khoa

In all, more than 3.13 million doses have reached Vietnam to date. A total of 8.6 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses have been secured by Vietnam either through contracts, global vaccine access mechanism Covax, or foreign aid.

The British-Swedish inoculant currently accounts for 77% of the country's Covid-19 vaccine supply.

According to Nitin Kapoor, president cum general director of AstraZeneca Vietnam and Emerging Asian Markets, the amount of vaccine supplied in July shows AstraZeneca's efforts to urgently support the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in Vietnam.

"We will continue to work with the Ministry of Health, World Health Organization, United Nations Children’s Fund, and VNVC to hand over the vaccine to Vietnam as quickly and safely as possible," said Nitin Kapoor.

Vu Thi Thu Ha, supply director of VNVC Immunization System, said the company is making efforts to strike deals with other vaccine developers to access more sources of high-quality vaccines.

AstraZeneca was the first vaccine to have obtained authorization for emergency use in Vietnam. The vaccine has been approved for use in 89 countries and territories.

Over 4.41 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered nationwide so far, but only 334,560 have been fully immunized with two doses.

Vietnam has also allowed mixing AstraZeneca shots with those of Pfizer/BioNTech should supply dwindle. The nation targets to inoculate 70% of its population by 2022.

Donations for patients with NCDs

Deputy Minister of Health Truong Quoc Cuong on July 23 received 150,000 boxes of medicine worth VND62.6 billion (US$2.7 million) from AstraZeneca Company to support the treatment of patients with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cuong highly valued AstraZeneca's support that would help Vietnamese patients and medical facilities overcome difficulties in accessing drugs to treat non-communicable diseases during the outbreak.

“The Ministry of Health will distribute the drugs to medical facilities, ensuring the effectiveness of the National Strategy for Preventing and Controlling Non-Communicable Diseases in the period of 2015-2025,” Cuong said. 

The UK Ambassador to Vietnam, Gareth Ward, said that the management of non-communicable diseases, both in terms of prevention and treatment, plays an important role in improving social welfare and economic development in Vietnam. It becomes even more important during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ambassador expressed his pleasure when seeing the enhanced bilateral cooperation between the UK and Vietnam in the field via the contribution of businesses.