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Zero AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses left in Vietnam: NIHE

Zero AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses left in Vietnam: NIHE

Wednesday, May 08, 2024, 18:51 GMT+7
Zero AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses left in Vietnam: NIHE
A doctor shows vials of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Reuters

Vietnam has zero doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at present and already stopped using the jab in July last year, a representative of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper after AstraZeneca announced its worldwide withdrawal of the vaccine due to a "surplus of available updated vaccines."

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam purchased over 30 million shots of Vaxzevria, the vaccine AstraZeneca developed in partnership with the University of Oxford, and received multiple other Vaxzevria batches as donations. 

The last doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Vietnam expired in July 2023, so they have not been used for immunization since then, the NIHE representative added.

The Drug Administration of Vietnam under the Ministry of Health also confirmed that Vietnam had not used the jab since last year.

The remaining AstraZeneca vaccine doses in the country have expired and no more Vaxzevria shots were imported later, the administration noted.

In February last year, NIHE allocated more than 800,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 doses with the expiry date of July 2023 to 63 cities and provinces so that they could provide local residents aged 18 and older with booster shots.

In February 2021, Vietnam granted conditional approval for the jab, making it the first COVID-19 vaccine allowed for use in the country.

At the time, the vaccine had been approved in 181 countries and territories.

The World Health Organization also listed AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker had previously admitted in court documents in the UK that the vaccine causes side effects such as blood clots and low blood platelet counts.

AstraZeneca has begun taking the vaccine off the market in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

On Wednesday, the European Medicines Agency issued a notice that the vaccine is no longer authorized for use, the Guardian reported.

The company will work with other regulators globally to start market authorization withdrawals for the Vaxzevria jab.

"As multiple, variant COVID-19 vaccines have since been developed there is a surplus of available updated vaccines," AFP cited an AstraZeneca statement as saying.

"This has led to a decline in demand for Vaxzevria, which is no longer being manufactured or supplied.

"We will now work with regulators and our partners to align on a clear path forward to conclude this chapter and significant contribution to the COVID-19 pandemic."

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Thanh Ha - Duong Lieu / Tuoi Tre News


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