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Russia donates Sputnik V vaccine doses to Vietnam

Tuesday, March 16, 2021, 15:40 GMT+7
Russia donates Sputnik V vaccine doses to Vietnam
A medical worker takes her colleague's blood pressure before injecting her with an AstraZeneca shot in Bac Giang Province, Vietnam, March 16, 2021. Photo: Lan Anh / Tuoi Tre

One thousand doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine arrived as a donation in Vietnam on Tuesday, according to a health ministry official.  

This batch is the first Russian COVID-19 vaccine in Vietnam.

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev brought the vaccines doses to Vietnam on board an Il-96 plane following an order from Russian President Vladimir Putin, Sputnik news agency reported on Tuesday.

Patrushev is in Hanoi for two-day Russian-Vietnamese security consultations, starting the same day.

The Ministry of Health received the 1,000 Sputnik V shots on Tuesday morning, said Dang Viet Hung, director of the ministry’s Department of International Cooperation.

The jabs are being stored at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology 

The national government will decide on the distribution of this batch.

In February, an advisory board recommended that the health ministry approve Sputnik V and Moderna vaccines for emergency use in Vietnam.

The Southeast Asian country is negotiating the purchase of about 60 million Sputnik V doses.

In August 2020, Russia registered Sputnik V as the first vaccine against COVID-19 in the world after having finished phases one and two of its clinical trials at the time.

Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is 91.6 percent effective against symptomatic COVID-19, AFP said in a report in February this year, citing results published in The Lancet.

Over 50 countries have placed an order for this jab.

Vietnam received 117,600 AstraZeneca shots, the first and only vaccine formally approved for emergency use in Vietnam so far, on February 24.

An additional 5.6 million AstraZeneca doses will arrive in Vietnam within March and April, the health ministry said.   

Vietnam started administering the vaccine to medical staff and frontline workers on March 8.

About 16,000 people in 12 provinces and cities have received their first shot of the vaccine since.

The country expects to obtain 150 million doses for the whole population this year, with 60 million already secured from AstraZeneca and the COVAX Facility co-led by the World Health Organization.

As of Tuesday morning, Vietnam had recorded 2,559 COVID-19 cases, with 2,115 recoveries and 35 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.

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