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Oct 01, 2021 / 20:35

Japan intensifies assistance to Vietnam’s Covid-19 fight

In addition to refrigerators and medical supplies, Japan has donated Vietnam 3.58 million vaccine doses.

About 300 vaccine refrigerators funded by the Japanese government and procured through UNICEF arrived in Vietnam in September, indicating Japan’s intensified assistance to the fight against Covid-19 in the country that Japan is the second largest investor.

 Japan-donated refrigerators arrive in Vietnam. Photo: UNICEF 

Therefrigerators will be delivered to 300 provincial and district health facilities across Vietnam where they will store Covid-19 vaccines for the nationwide inoculation campaign.

“This support is aimed at delivering vaccines to each and every person in all corners of Vietnam, which will complement efforts of the COVAX Facility. Japan will continue to extend support to the Vietnamese efforts to deploy vaccines to every person in the country with a view to containing Covid-19 as quickly as possible,” said the Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Takio Yamada.

Meanwhile, UNICEF has helped improve the capacity of the health and immunization systems to efficiently and effectively administer Covid-19 vaccines in Vietnam.

“Support from the Government of Japan will help to ensure the cold chain capacity, which is crucial for the safe rollout of Covid-19 vaccination and for routine immunization,” said Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative. “We are delighted to work with the Government of Japan in this important activity.”

These shipments bring the specially produced vaccine refrigerator TCW 80 AC, manufactured by B Medical in Luxembourg with green technology for very low power consumption and environmentally sustainability, which can maintain cold conditions for vaccines that must be stored at a temperature range of +2˚C to +8˚C, even when a power failure occurs for up to 72 hours.

All of the current Covid-19 vaccines administered in Vietnam require this temperature range at the vaccination sites. With a storage capacity of 80.5 L, the refrigerators are able to store vaccines doses during vaccination days. This model is supplied with an integrated remote temperature monitoring device with a real-time alert for the continuous monitoring of sensitive vaccines.

Japan has also funded JPY220 million (US$1.9 million) through UNICEF to improve Vietnam’s cold chains in the storage and delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Regarding support to Vietnam’s pandemic fight, the Government of Japan has so far donated Vietnam 3.58 million vaccine doses.

In addition, medical supplies worth millions of dollars via the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have been delivered to hospitals across the country namely the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE), the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases (NHTD), Cho Ray Hospital, the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City, Hue Central Hospital, among others.

Since September 2020, Japan has been providing JPY2 billion (US$18.82 million) in non-refundable aid, which would be disbursed in 18 months beginning from August 2020 for the Covid-19 battle in Vietnam. The financial assistance will focus on purchasing medical equipment, improving check-up and treatment capacities to minimize the pandemic-caused deaths.

In another move, Vietnamese Vaccine and Biological Production Company No.1 (VABIOTECH) and AIC Group JSC have signed a contract with Japanese Shionogi & Co., Ltd to produce Covid-19 vaccines based on recombinant DNA protein technology.

The vaccine rollout is expected to take place in June 2022.