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May 31, 2021 / 22:23

MAY 31: Vietnam likely to realize its Covid-19 vaccine import plan

The health ministry said it will license any kinds of Covid-19 vaccine if they are certified abroad.

Vietnam’s Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long on Monday [May 31] said that the plan to purchase 150 million Covid-19 vaccine doses in 2021 is doable.

Vietnam’s Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long. Photo: Nhat Bac/VGP 

The inked contracts are perfectly possible though the vaccine scarcity in the world remains tense, Long said at a meeting on May 31 chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam who is also head of the National Standing Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control.

Under the Ministry of Health (MoH)’s plan, Vietnam needs 150 million doses to vaccinate 75% of the total population in the country of 100 million people. The kinds include AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Sputnik V, and Moderna.

At the meeting, Long said the MoH encourages localities and businesses to participate in the vaccine purchase.

He said the MoH is not solely to buy the vaccines but it warns other stakeholders of cheating in the import.

Under the current law, some 27 agencies and companies are eligible to import Covid-19 vaccines. Other stakeholders that are able to access the supply can work with the ministry and those companies, Long said.

All Covid-19 vaccines used in Vietnam needs to be licensed by the MoH. So far, the country has licensed two kinds namely AstraZeneca and Sputnik V. Two others have been considered.

For the new kinds, the ministry will license them if they are certified abroad, Long said, adding that the process will take only five working days.

 Vietnam's Covid-19 cases. Source: MoH. Chart: Minh Vu

Regarding the transmission, Binh Duong and Tra Vinh are added in the Covid-19 list, lifting the number of affected localities to 36 out of 63 cities and provinces nationwide.

On May 31, Vietnam recorded 211 infections with the highest number found in Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, and Hanoi, totaling 7,253, including 47 deaths.

After the detection of 27 cases in quarantine centers, Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Chu Ngoc Anh asked local authorities to reduce the quarantine density. The city’s quarantine capacity is around 30,000 heads.

To contribute to the fight against Covid-19, the city's Vietnam Fatherland Front has so far received nearly VND27 billion (US$1.2 million) from individuals and organizations. The agency’s Chairman Nguyen Lan Huong said the amount will be used in an effective way to help curb the virus.

On the same day, the MoH asked Hanoi to send 20 emergency teams to support the vaccination in Bac Giang epicenter in a week starting from June 1. Each team includes one doctor, two nurses, and an ambulance.