Two million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Hanoi on Saturday morning as the aid by the U.S. to Vietnam through the COVAX international vaccine mechanism.
The shipment is part of the 80 million doses of vaccine that the U.S. government has committed to gift 92 countries and territories, including Vietnam, to help curb the COVID-19 spread.
Among these doses, 75 percent is to be shared through COVAX, a global initiative aiming to accelerate the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and guarantee equitable access for every country in the world, and the remaining 25 percent will be intended for priority parties and others.
Speaking at a ceremony marking the vaccine arrival, Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi Christopher Klein said: “The shipment gives us hope that there is an end in sight to our fight against COVID-19. It gives us hope that we will be able to return to our normal lives.”
The U.S. donated these vaccine doses to Vietnam through COVAX as part of our steadfast commitment to work with our partners across Southeast Asia to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) said.
“We are proud to support Vietnam in its fight against this pandemic, and we are confident that together we will defeat COVID-19,” USAID said.
AFP earlier quoted a Biden administration official as saying that vaccine aid to Vietnam is part of a strategy to “end the pandemic everywhere”.
The official also emphasized that the U.S. shares the vaccine without imposing any conditions.
Besides the donation from the U.S., Vietnam has so far received vaccines gifted from other countries, including a total of nearly two million AstraZeneca doses from Japan, 2,000 Sputnik V shots from Russia, and 500,000 jabs of Sinopharm from China.
After negotiating with many vaccine suppliers, the Ministry of Health has obtained from them the commitments to provide a total of around 110 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Vietnam in 2021, including 38.9 million from the COVAX, 30 million from AstraZeneca, 31 million from Pfizer/BioNTech, and 10 million that Vietnam registered to purchase from COVAX under a cost-sharing mechanism.
To date, COVAX has delivered nearly 4.4 million of AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Vietnam.
On Wednesday, Vietnam received more than 97,000 Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine shots as the first delivery under the firm’s commitment.
UNICEF on Saturday commented that Vietnam has been successful in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020. However, due to the limited supply of vaccines globally, the vaccination rates in Vietnam are still low.
So far, only about 4 percent of the population has been vaccinated while the number of infections has been increasing sharply in the past few weeks, the UNICEF said.
By Friday afternoon, over 4,010,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered nationwide, and the number of people who have received two full shots is more than 258,000, the health ministry reported on Saturday morning.
At noon on Saturday, the ministry confirmed 792 new COVID-19 cases, including 790 domestic and two imported cases, of which 600 were detected in Ho Chi Minh City, which recently led the country in daily new infections.
With the latest cases, Vietnam has documented a total of 27,400 patients, including 8,984 recoveries and 110 deaths, since early 2020.
Since the pandemic’s fourth wave that appeared on April 27, the country has recorded 23,916 infections.