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Mar 24, 2021 / 11:12

Vietnam gives nod to Russian made Covid-19 vaccine

Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine is the second Covid-19 vaccine approved in Vietnam.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health on March 23 gave the nod to Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine for use in emergencies.

Sputnik V, produced by Generium JSC, is the second Covid-19 vaccine authorized to be administered to Vietnamese. 

The first one is AstraZeneca vaccine which is co-invented by the University of Oxford and Swedish-UK company AstraZeneca PLC. It was approved by Vietnam’s health ministry for inoculation in early February.

Vials labeled "Sputnik V Coronavirus Covid-19 Vaccine". Photo: Ministry of Health

Sputnik V is administered in two shots with an interval of three weeks between doses, needs being stored at below 18 Celsius and has a six-month shelf life.

Early this month, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev handed over a batch of Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine gifted by his government to Vietnam.

Last year, Deputy Health Minister Tran Van Thuan revealed that Vietnam had ordered Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine from Russia but he didn't state the specific figure.

The mass vaccination in Vietnam began on March 8, and so far nearly 16,000 medical staff and other frontline workers in 12 localities have received their first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The Vietnamese government has said it is stepping up negotiations with vaccine manufacturers in the US, Russia and some other countries to ensure it could get a total 150 million doses to cover 70% of its population this year.

The Ministry of Health will continue to work urgently with relevant agencies to access other sources of Covid-19 vaccines and quickly implement the immunization in Vietnam.

In particular, the Research Center for Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (POLYVAC) is negotiating with Russia to buy Sputnik V vaccine with maximum quantity and in the shortest time possible.

Pfizer, another vaccine maker, said it could provide 31 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Vietnam and the detailed supply roadmap will be announced at the soonest time possible.

Besides, the health ministry urgently worked with Johnson & Johnson and Moderna as well as manufacturers from India and China to confirm the possibility of supplying Covid-19 vaccine to Vietnam. However, they have not given feedback.