May 19, 2021 / 18:52

Vietnam’s cabinet makes decision on vaccine purchase

Vietnam vows to speed up the inoculation to pursue its twin goal of both containing the pandemic and developing economy.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has signed a document on the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines in the face that the fresh coronavirus outbreak is sweeping through 28 out of 63 cities and provinces.

 Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) and Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam discuss vaccine plans on May 18. Photo: Nhat Bac/VGP

Under the Resolution dated May 18, the Ministry of Health (MoH) takes responsibility for the purchase “as soon as possible” in order to boost the inoculation program nationwide.

The PM stressed the need to buy vaccine, saying that it’s an urgent task and must be done at the earliest.

The MoH will also assume responsibility for technology transfer and speeding up the production of homegrown vaccines, ensuring vaccination safety, and prevention of unexpected side effects.

Vaccine is an issue that the PM has emphasized in Vietnam’s anti-pandemic strategies, along with the 5K- (masking – disinfection – distance – no gathering – medical declaration) safety protocol.

The Politburo, the country’s most powerful body, has reiterated the importance of vaccine in the fight against Covid-19.

In April, the National Assembly, the country’s highest legislative body, has agreed with the government to use VND12 trillion (US$522 million) for the vaccine purchase in 2021.

On May 18, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said Vietnam inked contract to buy 31 million Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine doses. The delivery is scheduled for the third and fourth quarters of this year.

Regarding the prices, the supplier pledged to sell at the lowest prices for low-income countries, the ministry said, giving no details.

In addition, MoH continues negotiating with different suppliers namely Moderna, Astra Zeneca, Moderna, and Gamelaya.

At present, Vietnam has the lowest rate of Covid-19 doses per 100 people in the Southeast Asia. So far, only more than one million doses have been administered to local residents in the country of nearly 100 million people.