“We can vaccinate five million people in the first phase. Vietnam is one of the countries in Southeast Asia that has relatively good access to the Covid-19 vaccine,” Mr. Cuong said.
At the conference, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said the import of Covid-19 vaccine is a key task of the Government. “We need to have vaccine this month and promote the research of using domestically-made vaccine types.”
He assigned the health minister to set up methods, select partners and vaccine types while coordinating with the Ministry of Finance to propose financial sources and identify people in priority. “As for issues beyond authority, the two ministries need to inform the Prime Minister.”
“Many businesses and localities are willing to contribute funds to buy vaccines. It is expected that on February 17, the final plan will be considered and approved by the Government,” said the Prime Minister.A volunteer is tested with Nanocovax vaccine.
The Covax program last month announced that it will deliver to Vietnam about 25% of the planned aid of 4.9 to 8.2 million doses of vaccine, in the first quarter of this year. The remainder will be sent in the second quarter.
Vietnam currently has two types of Covid-19 vaccine being in testing phase. The first one is Nanocovax of Nanogen Company that has been testing on human since December 10. Forty volunteers, who received 25- and 50-mcg doses, are now healthy and do not show any unusual symptoms. The second type is Covivac made by Nha Trang-based Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), was tested on human on January 21.
Early this month, Vietnam Vaccine Joint Stock Company (VNVC) signed a contract with AstraZeneca, a global biopharmaceutical business from the UK, to buy 30 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine in the first half of this year.
The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was co-developed with the University of Oxford. This vaccine is recommended for people aged between 18 – 64. It gives high immunity, from 62 – 90 per cent at different doses.