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First shipment of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to arrive in Vietnam next month

First shipment of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to arrive in Vietnam next month

Thursday, June 17, 2021, 12:26 GMT+7
First shipment of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to arrive in Vietnam next month
Vietnamese market management staff attend an online training session on Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, June 16, 2021. Photo: Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance

A portion of the 31 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine committed to Vietnam this year will land in the Southeast Asian country next month, a representative of American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. declared during an online training session for Vietnamese market management staff on Wednesday.

The event was co-hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, and Pfizer Vietnam.

It took place right after Pfizer Inc. reached an agreement with the government of Vietnam to supply 31 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Ministry of Health granted conditional approval of the jab for domestic emergency use in the fight against COVID-19 on June 12.

John Paul Pullicino from Pfizer Vietnam said during the event that the delivery of the jabs is scheduled for the third and fourth quarters, with a part of the vaccine doses expected to arrive in Vietnam next month. 

Pullicino underlined that that Pfizer vaccine is only accessible through bilateral deals with the Vietnamese government, warning against other illegal private suppliers.

Vanessa Piepenburg, representative of global security for Pfizer Singapore, showed Vietnamese market management staff how to distinguish between real and bogus Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines during the information session.

She said authentic Pfizer vaccines are held in small, colorless, 2ml glass bottles containing six doses.

The bottles are labeled as Pfizer & BioNTech in almost all countries, while in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, they are labeled as Fosun and BioNTech.

At present, the vaccine has yet to be commercialized and any such transactions are counterfeit.

It is only transported from Brussels and not in individual doses, Piepenburg said.

The Pfizer representative also vowed to form partnership with alliances against fake goods and legal enforcement forces to ensure security for their product.

Vietnam has administered more than 1.77 million AstraZeneca vaccine shots, with over 72,000 people having received two full doses so far. 

The proportion of vaccinated people over those who are subject to inoculation is approximately 2.5 percent, which is a low rate compared to those of other nations in the Southeast Asian region.

The country has received about 3.9 million AstraZeneca doses via direct purchases or donations as yet.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Health confirmed 159 new COVID-19 cases, including 158 domestic infections, on Thursday morning, taking the national caseload to 11,794 patients, with 4,590 recoveries and 61 deaths.

From April 27 to Wednesday morning, 8,568 local cases were recorded in 40 of Vietnam’s 63 provinces and cities in the ongoing virus wave -- the fourth and the worst since the pathogen first hit the country on January 23, 2020.

The nation has documented 10,138 domestic and 1,656 imported cases so far.

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