Ministry of national defence
First doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine arrive in Vietnam
The Saigon Times
|AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine. Vietnam today, February 24, received the first batch of the vaccine – PHOTO: VNVC|
HCMC – The first 117,600 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by British drugmaker AstraZeneca in association with the University of Oxford arrived at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC today, February 24, to meet the country’s high demand.
A representative of Vietnam Vaccine JSC (VNVC) said the batch was part of the 30 million doses of the vaccine that VNVC had earlier ordered. It signed a contract to import the vaccine with AstraZeneca last November, the local media reported.
The Ministry of Health has facilitated VNVC to quickly import the vaccine as the pandemic has spread to 13 cities and provinces over the last 27 days.
The ministry yesterday announced 11 groups of individuals who will be prioritized to receive the first doses of the Covid-19 vaccines, including health care workers; those involved in the fight against the pandemic, including members of steering committees, employees at quarantine centers and journalists; diplomatic and customs officials; and police officers and soldiers among others.
VNVC is the unique unit in Vietnam to receive AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine. Its three super-cold warehouses in HCMC, Danang and Hanoi can accommodate three million doses of the vaccine.
Besides the 30 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine ordered by VNVC, Covax Facility has committed to providing Vietnam with some 4.9 million doses free of charge in the first half of this year and 33 million doses in the third quarter.
The Ministry of Health on February 1 approved the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine ChAdOx in Vietnam.
VNA seeks nod for transporting Covid-19 vaccine to Vietnam
By Le Anh
|A Vietnam Airlines aircraft is parked at an airport. Vietnam Airlines affirmed that it has sufficient facilities and resources for the transportation of Covid-19 vaccines – PHOTO: COURTESY OF VIETNAM AIRLINES|
HCMC – Vietnam Airlines JSC has proposed Vietnam’s national health authority allow it to transport Covid-19 vaccines to the country, affirming that it has sufficient facilities and resources for the transportation.
A Vietnam Airlines representative today, February 24, said that the national flag carrier had prepared all the essential resources to meet the stringent requirements for transporting the vaccines by air, including logistics services, modern cold storage facilities, well-trained personnel and frozen product transportation procedures in line with international standards, especially ultra-cold containers to store the vaccines.
These are special conditions for the transportation of the vaccines, as they need to be stored at cold temperatures.
Apart from that, Vietnam Airlines has years of experience in transporting medical supplies such as medicines, operation equipment and organs for transplantation. The carrier had operated dozens of flights carrying organs such as hearts, livers and kidneys for transplantation under extremely strict storage conditions, tight time constraints and long distances of thousands of kilometers among localities across the country.
Such flights require tight cooperation between the relevant units and the health sector. Vietnam Airlines can meet this requirement thanks to its comprehensive transport system.
The carrier can also operate wide-body aircraft such as Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 to many global destinations to carry home the vaccines.
Further, the carrier has already set up a special unit ready for the transportation of the vaccine upon a request from the authorities.
Earlier, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam had proposed the Ministry of Transport assign local airlines to conduct the transportation of Covid-19 vaccines to Vietnam.
Vietnamese people will have access to COVID-19 vaccination free of charge in the long term like other types of vaccine included in the country’s Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
Vietnam has made urgent efforts to obtain COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible, but the number of vaccine shots distributed to the country in the coming time is still limited, the committee said during a meeting on Tuesday.
The Ministry of Health has listed 11 groups of individuals who will be the first to receive COVID-19 vaccination next month.
When supply is enough, all Vietnamese people will have access to free COVID-19 inoculation in the long run like other types of vaccine included in the EPI.
A small number of vaccine doses will be sold to people who can afford them.
The EPI started in Vietnam in 1981, initiated by the Ministry of Health with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The initial goal of the program was to provide free immunization to children under one year old to protect them from six common and highly fatal infectious diseases.
By 2010, the program had included 11 types of vaccine which protect people against tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, hepatitis B, measles, Japanese encephalitis, cholera, typhoid, and pneumonia/meningitis caused by Hib.
According to Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, Vietnam will need approximately 150 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for all citizens.
The Southeast Asian country will receive 30 million free doses supplied by COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) in 2021.
Vietnam has also purchased 30 million more doses from AstraZeneca, which will be delivered this year.
The first batch containing 117,600 AstraZeneca vaccine shots arrived at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday morning.
On February 26, the second phase of the human trial of made-in-Vietnam COVID-19 vaccine Nanocovax will begin in Hanoi and the Mekong Delta province of Long An.
The groups include health professionals, the pandemic prevention and fight task force (members of steering committees, people working in quarantining areas, reporters and others), diplomats, and customs and immigration staffs, military personnel, police force, teachers, and the elderly aged over 65.
Others include those working to maintain the supply of essential services such as aviation, transportation, tourism, electricity and water supply, as well as people with chronic diseases,people going abroad on a mission, to work, or study, and those in pandemic-hit areas.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) has announced the plan on the reception, preservation, distribution, and use of COVID-19 vaccines during 2021-2022 with the support of the COVAX Facility – the global procurement mechanism of COVAX.
Vietnam aims to have 80 per cent of its population get vaccinated against COVID-19. However, due to the limited supply, the rate can hit 20 per cent in 2021-2022.
COVAX is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), GAVI – the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization (WHO), alongside key delivery partner UNICEF. Its aim is to accelerate the development and manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
The COVAX Facility aims to supply COVID-19 vaccines to 190 countries worldwide. On December 10, 2020, GAVI named Vietnam as a member nation. GAVI and COVAX Facility expect to provide COVID-19 vaccines for 20 per cent of the population of member nations.
In spite of this, it is currently estimated that the COVAX Facility will provide the vaccine and materials for vaccination free of charge for 15-16 per cent of the population of 92 countries, including Vietnam. On January 29, the COVAX Facility said that more than 4.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine produced by AstraZenecca will be delivered to Vietnam in the first half of this year, while the next delivery will be announced later.
As planned, around 600,000 Vietnamese people, comprising healthcare and COVID-19 combat workers, will be given shots in the first quarter. Meanwhile, 1.8 million customs officers, diplomats, army and police personnel, and teachers will be injected in the second quarter. During the second half, over 16 million teachers and people above 65 will access 33 million doses of vaccines to be provided by the COVAX Facility later.
At a recent online meeting with cities and provinces, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said that in 2021 Vietnam will 150 million doses of the vaccine to ensure sufficient supply. The COVAX Facility has committed to supply 30 million doses for Vietnam this year, mainly used for the remaining six months of the year. AstraZeneca also committed to supply the same doses.
| Vietnam stepping up vaccine activities
While pushing ahead with locally-made vaccine trials and production, Vietnam is calling on private involvement and resources to quickly increase COVID-19 vaccine supply amid the …
| Vietnam to import first batch of Covid-19 vaccine (Infographics)
The Drug Administration of Vietnam has approved the import of the first 204,000 doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.
| PM requests purchasing COVID-19 vaccine in February
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered the health sector to conduct all necessary measures to make COVID-19 vaccines available in Vietnam this month either …
By Bich Thuy