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Jun 29, 2021 / 18:21

Vietnam asks World Bank for support in Covid-19 vaccine production

The WB is expected to help Vietnam build a research and development center for vaccines to meet the expanded vaccination program.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health (MoH) proposed the World Bank support the country in the research and production of Covid-19 vaccines that meet international standards.

The proposal was made by Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long at a meeting with WB Regional Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific Victoria Kwakwaand and WB’s Country Director for Vietnam Carolyn Turk on June 29.

Long hoped that the WB would continue to pay attention to supporting people's health care, especially in the Covid-19 prevention in Vietnam.

"Vietnam is one of 39 countries with a national management system for vaccines meeting international standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) and it is one of 44 countries that can produce vaccines. However, the investment into vaccine production is still limited," Long said.

If there is a loan from the WB, Vietnam will build a research and development center for vaccines and medical-biological products and a vaccine factory to meet the expanded vaccination program as well as respond to the pandemics in the time ahead.

“The closed process of researching, producing, and testing vaccines is very important to improve the overall capacity of Vietnam's disease prevention and control. The Vietnamese Government always prioritizes infectious disease prevention. Therefore, we hope that the WB will support these projects," stressed the minister.

 WB Regional Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific Victoria KwaKwa (left) and WB Country Director for Vietnam Carolyn Turk (right) at the meeting. Photo: MoH

Victoria Kwakwa said that Vietnam has effectively prevented the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the SARS-CoV-2 has mutated continuously, so it is necessary to have a vaccine strategy that closely combines with previous measures, she added.

Regarding the proposal of Vietnam’s MoH on loans for vaccines research and production, Victoria Kwakwa said this is very important, thus, the MoH and the WB need to work with each other as soon as possible, said Victoria Kwakwa.

About the non-refundable funding of the emergency support project for the pandemic, she noted that it has been disbursed. 

She added that the US government is planning to donate the Pfizer vaccine to a number of countries, including Vietnam. Personally, Victoria Kwakwa will try to promote discussion to ensure that Vietnam is on the list of vaccine beneficiaries.

Vietnam since March has inoculated around three million people with the AstraZeneca vaccine. The country aims to secure around 150 million vaccine doses this year to cover 70% of its population.

Regarding the project of training Vietnamese health workers, WB Country Director for Vietnam Carolyn Turk said that the project has been implemented to achieve the goals and will finish project by the end of 2021.

In a meeting on June 28 with WB Regional Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific Victoria Kwakwa on June 28 afternoon, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh thanked the WB for supporting Vietnam to have more resources for fighting Covid-19 and sustaining economic growth and spoke highly of the bank’s initiative to back countries, including Vietnam, in the fight against the pandemic.