Vietnam on Monday received 1,188,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX Facility, bringing its total donations to the Southeast Asian country to 8,681,300 doses.
Among the 8,681,300 doses delivered to the nation through the COVAX Facility, 5,000,100 shots are Moderna vaccine from the U.S. government and 3,681,200 jabs are AstraZeneca, UNICEF said in a press release the same day.
The latest batch was shipped from Laboratorio Univesal Farma, a manufacturing facility in Spain.
The COVAX Facility is co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI), GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and UNICEF as the key delivery partner.
The additional vaccine shots will help the ministry expand coverage and reach more people from priority groups, helping the country attain its target of vaccinating two-thirds of a 98 million-strong population by the end of the first quarter of next year, UNICEF said.
“COVID-19 vaccines are lifesaving tools, but with a limited supply, prioritizing the most vulnerable is the most optimal way to save lives,” Dr. Kidong Park, WHO representative in Vietnam, was quoted as saying in the press release.
“As we face the surge of cases, we need to accelerate and ramp up our efforts in vaccinating the health workers, the elderly and those with underlying conditions to protect them from severe illness and death.”
“It is critical that priority groups, including health and social workers and teachers, are vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to ensure that children are able to return safely to school and get the preventive health services they need,” said Lesley Miller, UNICEF deputy representative.
Vietnam has received about 17.6 million shots of various vaccines, including AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Sputnik-V, and Sinopharm, before the arrival of the new shipment, according to the Ministry of Health.
To date, over 6.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Vietnam since the country rolled out vaccination on March 8, with 659,064 people having been fully vaccinated.
The country has battled the fourth and worst virus wave since April 27, with 153,672 local cases reported across the country.
Ho Chi Minh City is leading the round’s table at 96,292 patients.
By comparison, Vietnam confirmed 106 community cases in the first wave from January 23 to April 16, 2020, 554 in the second from July 25 to December 1, 2020, and 910 in the third from January 28 to March 25, 2021.
A total of 43,157 patients have recovered from the respiratory diseases while the death toll is 1,306, as recorded from early last year, when the pathogen first struck the country.