Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long speaks at an online meeting on March 5
During an online meeting on March 5, Long said it would take a while to gather the vaccine due to high demand and short global supply of the vaccine. The vaccines are also being rapidly produced. Reports from the manufacturers and evaluation boards show that they have protective antibodies against the virus for six months to a year.
“We’ll buy vaccines from other countries while keeping pushing for a locally-made vaccine,” Long said. “This is our long-term plan.”
After receiving the certificate for 117,000 doses of Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca on March 3, the ministry will hold a training course about receiving, storing and using the vaccine on March 6 and start giving the vaccine on March 8. The first doses will be given to front line workers at 18 facilities that are treating Covid-19 patients. Afterwards, the people in the outbreak areas in 13 cities and provinces will be vaccinated.
Nguyen Dac Vinh, Deputy Chief of the Office of the Party Central Committee, said even with the vaccine, all preventive measures will still be upheld to limit both community and imported cases.
“The Ministry of Health will be the only agency that manages and distribute the vaccine. Localities will not be allowed to negotiate to buy vaccine with private firms,” Vinh said.
At the meeting, the Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control urged to implement the immunisation programme under the vaccine equity principle of the UN. The public will be informed about the programme.
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said, “We have been doing well without the vaccine before so in the coming time, everyone must stay vigilant and active.”