One of the eight ultra-low temperature freezers offered by the COVAX Facility to Vietnam for COVID-19 vaccine preservation was installed at the Hanoi Capital High Command on Thursday, the UNICEF Vietnam reported.
The remaining freezers will be installed in seven other provinces and cities, including Phu Tho, Thai Nguyen, Nghe An, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Can Tho and Dong Nai, to serve the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
These specialized freezers, with the storage temperature ranging from minus 86 degrees Celsius to minus 60 degrees Celsius, are suitable to store COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine vials, the agency said.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has been a key delivery partner of the COVAX Facility, a global initiative aiming to accelerate the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and guarantee equitable access for every country in the world.
Earlier on August 11, a group of Vietnamese technological startups offered 25 similar freezers to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, in responding to the Vietnam Young Doctors Association’s call for contributions to the country’s epidemic prevention efforts.
Vietnam has so far received around 33 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from different sources, including COVAX Facility, contractual purchases and donations, the Ministry of Health reported.
The vaccine amount has accounted for 22 percent out of the 150 million of vaccine doses the country needs to obtain to vaccinate two-thirds of its 98-million population.
By Friday evening, the numbers of people receiving the first and second vaccine doses nationwide had reached nearly 21.4 million and 4.4 million, according to the national COVID-19 vaccination portal.
Since the pandemic hit Vietnam in early 2020, the Southeast Asian country has documented 589,417 coronavirus infection cases, including 14,745 deaths, which is equal to 2.5 percent of the total patient number, or 0.4 percentage point higher than the global fatality rate.