The People’s Committee of Hai Phong City is seeking approval from Ho Chi Minh City to borrow 500,000 doses of Vero Cell COVID-19 vaccine developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) to facilitate the vaccination drive in the northern Vietnamese city.
A request signed by Hai Phong chairman Nguyen Van Tung on Thursday was sent to both the Ministry of Health and the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City.
The document emphasized that it is an urgent task for Hai Phong authorities to vaccinate its residents against COVID-19 in the face of the complicated developments of the pandemic in several Vietnamese localities.
About 1.6 million out of Hai Phong’s population of over two million people are subject to the vaccination, while the health ministry has just allocated the city nearly 165,000 vaccine doses.
City authorities have been waiting for the health ministry to distribute two million Sinopharm vaccine doses and 1.2 million shots of other brands to inoculate their people.
In the meantime, the People’s Committee of Hai Phong suggested Ho Chi Minh City leaders lend 500,000 out of one million doses of the Vero Cell vaccine in the latter’s storage to the northern city.
On Wednesday, Hai Phong authorities also announced three COVID-19 vaccination priority groups, including long-distance drivers and their driving assistants, workers at Chinese enterprises and in industrial zones, and people volunteering to be immunized.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Health authorized the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use on June 3.
To date, Vietnam has received some 19 million doses of various vaccines, with more than 7.55 million shots administered and about 779,000 people fully inoculated.
As of Thursday morning, the Southeast Asian country had documented 181,756 coronavirus cases, with 54,332 recoveries and 2,327 deaths, according to the health ministry.
Hai Phong and Ho Chi Minh City have accounted for 26 and 108,379 infections, respectively, in the country’s total of 177,855 local cases since the fourth wave emerged in Vietnam on April 27.