The United States has additionally sent two shipments totaling over 4.2 million Pfizer-BioNTech jabs to Vietnam, bringing its total vaccine donations to the Southeast Asian country to over 24.6 million doses.
“Another 2.2 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines arrived in Hanoi this morning, with more still on the way,” the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam said on its verified Facebook page on Friday, in reference to the first shipment that earlier came to Noi Bai International Airport.
The embassy shared that the U.S. is proud to partner with Vietnam as both sides combat the COVID-19 pandemic together.
“As of December 6, nearly 96 percent of people over the age of 18 in Vietnam have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; together we will beat COVID-19,” the embassy said.
On Friday evening, the second shipment landed in Ho Chi Minh City.
“More than 2 million Pfizer doses arrived tonight at Tan Son Nhat Airport. The U.S. and Vietnam are committed partners working together to save lives and beat back COVID-19,” the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh said on its official Facebook page.
With this latest shipment, the United States has now provided more than 24.6 million COVID-19 vaccines to Vietnam through the COVAX Facility, the consulate general said.
Based on their long-term cooperative relationship, the two countries have worked together to improve Vietnam’s capacity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the embassy said.
Along with nearly US$1 billion provided to Vietnam over the past years for health infrastructure development, the U.S. has also committed $26.7 million as support for Vietnam to deal with the pandemic.
In October, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi received 77 of the 111 deep freezers for storage of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines funded by the U.S. government for Vietnam through the U.S. Department of Defense.
The U.S. has pledged to donate at least 1.1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine doses for global use before 2023, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), an American non-profit organization.
As of December 10, the U.S. had delivered 260.2 million doses of the total committed, KFF said.
Besides the U.S., the largest donor of COVID-19 vaccines to Vietnam so far, the Southeast Asian country has received vaccine donations from other countries, including Japan, Australia, the UK, France, Italy, Russia, the Czech Republic, and China, among others.
The nation has so far received around 156.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines out of the 200 million shots that had been contracted, the Ministry of Health reported.
As of Friday evening, more than 131 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered across Vietnam, of which nearly 123.68 million shots were for people aged 18 and older.
Currently, 76.5 percent of the population have received two full doses, the ministry said.
Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Thursday called for efforts to achieve full vaccination coverage for the adult population by the end of this year and for children from 12 to under 18 years old by January 31, 2022.
The Southeast Asian country has recorded 1,382,272 patients, including 1,052,341 recoveries and 216 deaths, since the pandemic hit it early last year, the health ministry’s data shows.