Vietnam expects to have 3 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and 3 million doses of Pfizer vaccine from now to September.
The COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility has announced it will provide an additional 1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Vietnam in late June and early July, said Professor Dang Duc Anh, Director of the Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology yesterday.
The vaccines will be allocated based on Resolution 21, which defines the subjects priotized for vaccination and the provinces which have industrial zones.
From now until the end of the third quarter, Vietnam will receive an additional 2 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, ordered by the Ministry of Health through the local vaccine distributor VNVC.
In addition, according to Pfizer, this pharmaceutical company can ship 3 million doses of vaccine to Vietnam in the third quarter and the remaining doses in the fourth quarter. However, the time of delivery and the vaccine quantity may change, depending on the situation in the world.
According to Professor Duc Anh, Vietnam aims to have 150 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines this year to vaccinate at least 70-80% of the population in order to reach herd immunity.
However, only four batches of AstraZeneca vaccines have arrived in Vietnam so far, totaling nearly 2.9 million doses. The first shipment imported by VNVC with 117,600 doses arrived in Vietnam on February 24. The second and third batches, delivered by COVAX, came on April 1 with 811,200 doses, and on May 16 with 1.682 million doses, and the latest batch of 288,000 doses were imported via VNVC on May 25.
Vietnam has given 1.55 million doses for priority subjects. The remaining doses of vaccine will be used in June.
Professor Duc Anh said that the AstraZeneca vaccine has a short shelf life, only about six months, while it took about two months for the vaccine to be shipped to Vietnam, so the remaining time for vaccination is only 3-4 months.
For the Pfizer vaccine, storage conditions must be at a temperature of -70 degrees Celsius, if it is stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius, the vaccine must be used within a month. The Ministry of Health, therefore, will coordinate with relevant agencies of the Ministry of National Defense to ensure the preservation and transportation of this kind of vaccine to vaccination sites as quickly as possible.
To date, Vietnam has urgently approved the use of four Covid-19 vaccines, including: AstraZeneca from the UK, Sputnik V from Russia, Sinopharm from China and Pfizer from the US.