After more than 10 days since its establishment, Vietnam’s COVID-19 Vaccine Fund has collected more than US$40 million from donors, the Ministry of Finance reported on Sunday.
The fund, which was set up under a decision of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on May 26, was officially debuted at a ceremony held in Hanoi on Saturday evening.
By 6:00 pm on Saturday, the fund had received VND928 billion ($40.2 million) from around 950 organizations and more than 124,600 individuals, the Ministry of Finance reported.
Among the businesses financing the fund are Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, Vingroup, Vietnam Electricity Group, Vietcombank, Vietinbank, Hoa Phat Group Joint Stock Company, Bao Viet Life Group, Trung Nam Group, and others.
Meanwhile, an individual donor contributed VND5 billion ($216,000) while other donations ranged between VND1 million ($43) and VND10 million ($430).
Speaking at the ceremony, PM Chinh expressed his deep thanks to all donors at home and abroad and emphasized that vaccination is a fundamental, long-term, and strategic solution to escape the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the spirit of ‘loving others like ourselves,’ we believe that the fund will receive support from people both at home and abroad,” the prime minister said.
The money donated to the fund represents donors’ love and responsibility, so it must be used effectively for epidemic prevention and control missions, Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc said at the fund debut.
“The Ministry of Finance is committed to using this fund publicly and transparently,” the minister emphasized.
The event participants sent their ‘COVID NK’ messages from their mobile phones to number 1408 to make their cash donations to the fund.
As guided by the national text-to-donate program, ‘N’ is any number from 1 to 2,000, and ‘K’ stands for the unit of thousand Vietnamese dong. For example, a text message reading ‘COVID 20K’ means a donation of VND20,000 ($0.87) to the fund.
With an aim to reach herd immunity, the Ministry of Health expects to purchase 150 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to immunize about 75 million out of Vietnam’s population of 98 million people at an estimated cost of VND25.2 trillion ($1.1 billion).
Of that amount, the cost of purchasing vaccines will be about VND21 trillion ($909 million), while the rest will be spent on transportation, storage, and injection.
So far, more than 1.2 million people have been vaccinated nationwide, mainly frontline health workers, of whom over 33,600 have been fully inoculated against COVID-19, the health ministry said on Sunday.
The ministry confirmed 102 new coronavirus cases at noon on Sunday, of which 69 were detected in Bac Giang Province, the largest epicenter in Vietnam now.
The new cases have taken the Southeast Asian country’s tally of patients to 8,682, including 53 deaths, since early 2020.
Since April 27, when the pandemic’s fourth wave appeared in Vietnam, 5,562 domestic infections have been documented nationwide.