The Ministry of Health has set forth a plan on the reception, preservation, distribution and use of COVID-19 vaccines during the 2021-2022 period, with the support of the COVAX Facility - the global procurement mechanism of COVAX.
COVAX is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi and the World Health Organization (WHO), alongside key delivery partner UNICEF. Its aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
Other groups included in the vaccination plan are army and police forces, teachers, people above 65, those providing essential goods, people with chronic diseases, those who have to work and study abroad, and residents in pandemic-hit areas.
The ministry said it will only buy safe, effective vaccines that are assessed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and approved by the Stringent Regulatory Authorities (SRA), and have suitable prices.
The vaccination aims to ensure community immunity. Vietnam expects to have 80 percent of its population vaccinated against COVID-19. However, the current supply allows the country to inject only 20 percent of the population in 2021-2022, targeting 95 percent of those vulnerable to virus infection.
The COVAX Facility programme will provide free vaccines and injection devices to inoculate 15-16 percent of 92 countries, including Vietnam.
The COVAX Facility said on January 28 that more than 4.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine produced by AstraZenecca will be delivered to Vietnam in the first two quarters of this year.
With the doses, around 600,000 Vietnamese people, comprising health care and COVID-19 combat workers, will be given shots in the first quarter. Meanwhile, 1.8 million customs officers, diplomats, army and police forces and teachers will be injected in the second quarter.
During the two last quarters, 16 million teachers and people above 65 will access 33 million doses of vaccines to be provided by the COVAX Facility later.
According to Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long, Vietnam will also be supplied with 30 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine within this year.
Vietnam is one of the 40 countries that have conducted human trials of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The country also has several other COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed, by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 (VABIOTECH), and the Centre for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals (POLYVAC)./.