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Apr 01, 2021 / 13:46

Vietnam works with India, Russia for Covid-19 vaccine supply

Vietnam is looking for different sources of Covid-19 vaccines amid thin global supply.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has worked with Indian and Russian diplomats to facilitate the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines from two countries.

 Vietnam's Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long at the meeting with foreign diplomats on March 31. Photo: Tran Minh

Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long expressed the aspiration at a meeting on March 31 with Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Pranay Verna and Russian Minister Counsellor to Vietnam Bublikov Vadim.

Long said Vietnam expects to cooperate with India and Russia in producing Covid-19 vaccines.

Vietnam is seeking for the third human trial of domestic Covid-19 vaccines under India’s support.

In addition, Long hopes that India extends its support to help Vietnam produce pentavalent vaccine that is made by the Serum Institute of India.

The two sides also agreed to enhance investment in pharmaceutical industry in Vietnam.

 Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Pranay Verna. Photos: MOH

Speaking at the meeting, Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Pranay Verna said India is producing two Covid-19 vaccines, including one named COVAXIN by Bharat Biotech.

Vietnamese Duc Minh Company has registered for the approval of COVAXIN vaccine for the circulation in Vietnam.

 Russian Minister Counsellor to Vietnam Bublikov Vadim.

Meanwhile, Bublikov Vadim said Russia gets ready to provide and cooperate to produce Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V, the kind that Vietnam has licensed for emergency use in the pandemic.

At the same meeting, the minister also met Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo. He asked China to donate Covid-19 vaccine to inoculate prioritized groups, including those are in need of traveling to China for study and work.

Long’s proposal came from China’s requirements in which it grants “vaccine passports” to made-in-China Covid-19 vaccine recipients.

Long said Vietnam has shortened time of licensing Covid-19 vaccines to roughly two weeks.

 Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo.

Xiong Bo said China has so far donated Covid-19 vaccines to 69 countries.

To date, Vietnam has licensed some Covid-19 vaccines, including British-Swedish AstraZeneca and Russia Sputnik V and negotiated to buy some other kinds from India, the US, and Russia. So far, no Chinese Covid-19 vaccine has been accredited in the country.

Due to the thin global supply of Covid-19 vaccines, the government of Vietnam is looking for different sources and allows private sector to join the transactions.

The minister said Vietnam needs roughly 150 million doses for the universal immunization.