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Jun 30, 2021 / 22:24

Vietnam PM okays additional US$332 million for vaccine purchase

Vietnam expects to vaccinate 70% of its 100 million inhabitants to achieve herd immunity in 2022.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh decided Wednesday [June 30] to add VND7.65 trillion (US$332 million) for buying 61 million doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines.

 AstraZeneca vaccine is given to frontline reporters who participate in the prevention of COVID-19. Photo: vietnamplus

Two third of the amount will come from the savings in 2020 and the remaining from the Vietnam Fund for Vaccination Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (VFVC) set up in late May.

The Ministry of Health will be in charge of importing the vaccines in accordance with regulations on bidding and management of public assets.

So far, Vietnam has got nearly 4.5 million doses, including nearly 2.5 million doses from the World Health Organization (WHO)-led COVAX Facility, 500,000 donated by China, and one million under Japan’s relief. In the first week of July, another one million doses of Japanese donation will arrive in the country.

All the doses are AstraZeneca.

In mid-May, Deputy Health Minister Truong Quoc Cuong said the ministry inked a contract to buy 31 million doses Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine. The producer pledged the lowest price for Vietnam and the delivery in the third and fourth quarter this year.

It’s estimated that the country needs approximately VND25.2 trillion (US$1.1 billion), including VND16 trillion from the State budget to acquire 150 million vaccine doses, the volume that helps Vietnam achieve herd immunization in 2022.

To contribute to the vaccine fund, dozens of domestic and foreign companies have donated millions of dollars each. The donors include leading banks like Vietcombank, Agribank, VietinBank, BIDV, TPBank, HDBank, and companies namely Vingroup, Long Thanh Golf Investment, and Trading, Viettel, Vietnam Electricity (EVN), Sovico, Petrovietnam, DOJI, T&T, Ecopark, among others.

Meanwhile, contributions also come from foreign-invested enterprises like Samsung Electronics Vietnam (SEV), Toyota, Foxconn, Shinhan, Prudential, among others.