Vietnam has made a financial contribution worth US$500,000 to COVAX, a global initiative aiming to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines and guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
Besides, Vietnam also called on the global vaccine program to boost supply of more jabs to the country, said Vietnamese Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long.
Vietnam’s contribution to the COVAX represents the country’s high appreciation for this program’s efforts to provide coronavirus vaccines for poor countries around the world, Long said.
The minister made the remarks during his recent online discussion with a representative of COVAX, which has so far supplied COVID-19 vaccines to 92 countries, including Vietnam.
The initiative is aiming to provide two billion coronavirus vaccine doses, including 38.9 million free-of-charge jabs, to these countries this year.
Vietnam has received from COVAX 2.6 million free doses and used them to vaccinate frontline doctors, border guards, COVID-19 control teams, and other priority groups including workers in Bac Giang and Bac Ninh Provinces, the country’s two virus hotbeds at the moment, the minister said.
Briefing the COVAX representative on the current complicated epidemic situation in Vietnam, where more dangerous mutated coronavirus variants are causing more infections, the official said the country needs to accelerate the vaccination process.
“Vietnam wishes COVAX to speed up the supply of vaccines to the country,” said Long.
Vietnam is seeking to buy or receive transfer of vaccine production technologies, and wants to have a vaccine factory set up in the Southeast Asian nation, he said.
“Vietnam will invest in such a factory and wish to secure franchising rights to manufacture vaccines for domestic use and supply to other countries,” he elaborated.
So far, only about 1.2 million Vietnamese have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and those receiving their second shots reached around 25,000.
The country is speeding up immunization in Bac Giang and Bac Ninh, and expects to receive about five million vaccine doses in June and July.
Vietnam is boosting the testing of some vaccines developed domestically, including Nano Covax, and expects the first 'made in Vietnam' shot to be available by the end of this year, according to the Ministry of Health.
Vietnam has documented a total of 7,482 COVID-19 patients, including 47 deaths, since the pandemic appeared in the country in early 2020.
Since April 27, when the pandemic’s fourth wave began in Vietnam, 4,407 infections have been recorded in the Southeast Asian country.