The staff of Gia An 115 Hospital administering Covid-19 vaccine
Vietnam’s Ministry of Health on the afternoon of June 3 said that the government has negotiated with foreign producers to purchase 170 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine for 2021, but Vietnam must accept the terms that manufacturers may not deliver on schedule.
Vnexpress newspaper quoted Deputy Health Minister Truong Quoc Cuong as saying at a press conference on June 3: “Basically, Vietnam has approached this number. But when negotiating import, we must sign a commitment with the manufacturer to exempt them from liability if there is a problem during the use of the vaccine. All companies are forcing Vietnam to accept the terms that they may not deliver on time.”
Earlier, the Ministry of Health said that it was tasked with importing 150 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to inject 70% of the population aged 18 and over in 2021.
So far, Vietnam has imported about 2.6 million doses of vaccine, mainly through the global COVAX program of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Deputy Minister Truong Quoc Cuong told the press that most of the vaccines will be shipped to Vietnam in August this year, of which Pfizer’s vaccine will arrive in the third quarter with 15 million doses and 15 million doses in the fourth quarter.
Cuong also said that because Vietnam has well-controlled the disease, there are some cases of vaccines that are expected to be shipped to Vietnam, but then have to be transferred to other countries such as Laos and Cambodia when the disease in these two countries spreads faster.
Vietnam is currently facing the fourth wave of COVID-19 pandemics starting from April 27. This outbreak has brought the number of infections to more than 4,900 cases, more than three times higher than the total number of infections in the previous three waves from January 2020.
Vietnam is also currently the country with the lowest rate of people being vaccinated against COVID-19 in Southeast Asia with only about 1% of the population being vaccinated, mainly those working on the front lines of pandemic prevention.
Facing the spread of the disease, the Government of Vietnam has called on people and businesses to contribute to the fund to buy a vaccine against COVID-19.
According to the Ministry of Finance, to import 150 million doses of vaccine, Vietnam needs a fund of about VND25 trillion ($1.1 billion). The ministry said that enterprises under the State Capital Management Committee pledged to support the fund about VND2 trillion.