Oct 15, 2021 / 22:02

Vietnam receives 4 million vaccine doses donated by Italy, Poland, South Korea

Three donors have special relationships with Vietnam as they are either long-lasting friends or strategic investors.

Four million Covid-19 vaccine doses as gifts from the governments of Italy, Poland, and South Korea arrived in Vietnam on Oct 13-15.

Of the total, two million doses are from Italy, nearly 900,000 doses from Poland, and 1.1 million doses from South Korea.

At the handover ceremony held in Hanoi on Oct 15, Deputy Health Minister Do Xuan Tuyen expressed his thank to the donors represented by Polish Ambassador to Vietnam Wojciech Gerwel and South Korean Ambassador to Vietnam Park Noh Wan.

With the latest batch, Poland-donated volume reaches 1.4 million and medical equipment worth nearly US$4 million. The first delivery of the vaccine took place on August 23 while the medical supplies arrived on Sept 11 at a time when Ho Chi Minh City, the epicenter of the pandemic, was in a tough time.

 Deputy Health Minister Do Xuan Tuyen (R) and Polish Ambassador to Vietnam Wojciech Gerwel at the handover ceremony in Hanoi on Oct 15. Photos: MoH

Ambassador Wojciech Gerwel shared that the Polish government and people are grateful for the friendship and support of the Vietnamese community in Poland in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

It’s a factor prompting our support of Vietnam in this fight against the pandemic, he noted.

For Ambassador Park Noh Wan, he said the Blue House considers donating 100,000 more doses in addition to the volume delivered.

Park said the Republic of Korea has also donated Covid drugs and medical supplies to Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Italy, with the additional, has donated Vietnam a total of 2.8 million.

Earlier in a letter of gratitude sent to Italia’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Vietnam’s PM Pham Minh Chinh appreciated Italy's significant assistance in the face that Covid-19 spreads in Vietnam. In early 2020 when Italy was the first European country suffering from Covid-19, Hanoi offered masks and medical equipment to Rome. Now Vietnam becomes one of the largest recipients of Italian Covid relief.

Italy is one of the leading donors to the COVAX Facility. At the Global Health Summit held in Rome in May 2021, The Italian government pledged to share with the world 45 million vaccine doses through the global vaccine sharing scheme.

It’s interesting that three vaccine donors have long-lasting relations with Vietnam or strategic development. Poland and Vietnam have 70 years of diplomatic ties with great support during the wartime in Vietnam and Doi moi (renewal) period while South Korea is the largest investor and Italy is one of the leading partners in Europe.

According to Tuyen, Vietnam has received 90 million doses of vaccine from donations and purchases. 

As of Oct 15, more than 59 million doses have been vaccinated, including 18 million people fully inoculated.

The country is preparing to vaccinate children aged between 12 and 17 to help them soon return to school.

 Deputy Health Minister Do Xuan Tuyen and South Korean Ambassador to Vietnam Park Noh Wan at the ceremony on Oct 15.