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Sep 20, 2021 / 22:46

Today’s Covid News: Vietnam to buy 10 million vaccine doses from Cuba

Vietnam has got 45 million doses from donations and purchases, of which nearly 12 million doses came from the COVAX.

The Government of Vietnam today [Sept 20] decided to import 10 million doses of Cuba’s homegrown Abdala Covid-19 vaccine.

Abdala vaccine is produced by AICA Pharmaceutical Laboratories and packaged at Level 2 at the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB).

“Once again, the peoples of Cuba and Vietnam share their scientific-technological achievements,” tweeted the Cuban institution.

Three days ago, Vietnam approved Abdala ahead of the ongoing visit to Cuba paid by Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held a phone talk with the COVAX Facility's Managing Director Aurélia Nguyen. Photo: VGP 

In another move, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held a phone talk with Aurélia Nguyen, managing director of the COVAX Facility at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to seek more vaccine supply.

Chinh requested the COVAX Facility to facilitate the delivery to Vietnam in September, October, and November as it was committed to providing. He expressed that Vietnam considers contributing more to the COVAX after its initial US$500,000.

Aurélia Nguyen said the COVAX will share 85 million doses to the world, including Vietnam. The facility will also consider vaccines for children and will work with Vietnam for the issue.

Vietnam has got 45 million doses from donations and purchases, of which nearly 12 million doses came from the COVAX.

As of Sept 20, more than 34.6 million doses have been vaccinated with Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and Hanoi having the highest vaccination rates. Both of them finished the first jabs and are speeding up the inoculation campaign in order to soon reopen the economy after months of lockdown.

Regarding vaccines, the health ministry today allowed localities to shorten the interval of two AstraZeneca shots but did not specify the interval, saying that local authorities need to follow advice and warnings by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the producer.

The ministry’s decision resulted from Ho Chi Minh City’s request to shorten the interval to six weeks.

AstraZeneca’s producer advised people to keep two shots between four and 12 weeks apart while WHO said it’s better to take them from eight to 12 weeks apart.

AstraZeneca is the first vaccine approved in Vietnam and the highest volume administered.

Today [Sept 20], Vietnam confirms 8,681 Covid-19 infections, the lowest figure over the past month. Up to 60% of the daily cases are detected in HCMC and the remaining are mostly found in the southern part.

 Vo Van Hoan, deputy chairman of the municipal People’s Committee at the meeting on Sept 20. Photo: HCMC Press Center

Ho Chi Minh City

To soon meet the target for recovery plans, HCMC has requested the Ministry of Health to supply it with six more million vaccine doses to help it fulfill the vaccination drive.

Testing all residents in red and yellow spots (very high-risk and high-risk areas) is another anti-pandemic mission that the city’s authorities announced today.

Accordingly, people in those places would be tested three times a week to soon detect infections in the community, Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Health Nguyen Huu Hung said at a meeting.

The massive testing will last until Sept 30, Hung said, adding that residents would take samples themselves with the support of health workers to meet the deadline.

Given prolonged lockdown, the city plans to spend more than VND7 trillion (US$304 million) on assisting vulnerable people, the third time of the supporting programs, according to Vo Van Hoan, deputy chairman of the municipal People’s Committee.

This package will cover both residents and non-residents, he said.

 Deputy Chairman of the city People’s Committee Chu Xuan Dung at the meeting on Sept 20. Photo: The Hanoi Times 


Today, Hanoi confirmed 9 Covid-19 cases, the city’s coronavirus infections hit the two-month record low.

As the pandemic evolution shows signs of easing, the city will no longer classify the city’s parts into various zones based on different levels of safety.

It will allow people in Covid-free zones to go out without travel permits, Deputy Chairman of the city People’s Committee Chu Xuan Dung said today, noting that people should not go out unnecessarily due to unpredictable risks of outbreaks.

Public means of transport will not be allowed to operate while the city still manages the flows of vehicles coming to the city through 23 checkpoints at the entrance.

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