Thanks to “vaccine diplomacy”, Vietnam has received more than 15 million doses of covid-19 vaccine, with more than 12 million doses allocated to epidemic-hit localities in July alone.
Resolution 21 of the Government dated February 26, 2021 clearly states that Vietnam targets to have 150 million doses of vaccine to vaccinate 70% of the population.
In the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, the COVAX Facility mechanism is one of the best solutions to ensure the rapid and equitable deployment of safe and effective vaccines to all countries around the world.
As a member of COVAX, in December 2020, Vietnam submitted a dossier to propose vaccine support. On that basis, COVAX has allocated vaccines and committed to provide Vietnam with vaccines to immunize 20% of the population, equivalent to nearly 39 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine.
Thanks to vaccine diplomacy, in July alone, more than 12 million vaccine doses were allocated to epidemic-affected localities; provinces and cities that are economic locomotives; and others.
Explaining to the National Assembly on July 25, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said that following the conclusions and direction of the Politburo and the Secretariat of the Central Party Committee, starting early 2020, the Government gave instructions on the implementation of a comprehensive vaccine strategy.
Vietnam has actively lobbied governments and vaccine manufacturers to speed up the delivery of vaccines to Vietnam. This advocacy is very important in the context of global vaccine scarcity. On the basis of active and drastic advocacy and negotiation, in just over a month, the amount of vaccines for Vietnam has increased significantly.
To date, partners have signed contracts with and committed to provide Vietnam with about 105 million doses of vaccine, including: 38.9 million doses sponsored by COVAX, 30 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine imported by the Vietnam Vaccine Joint Stock Company (VNVC), 31 million doses of Pfizer vaccine purchased by the Government, 5 million doses of Moderna vaccine purchased via Zuellig Pharma Vietnam, and 55 million doses under negotiation (40 million doses of Sputnik-V vaccine negotiated by T&T Group with the Russian Direct Investment Fund and 15 million doses of Covax negotiated by the Ministry of Health with India).
“Vaccine diplomacy” has been strongly promoted with a series of talks and exchanges in bilateral and multilateral meetings of the Party General Secretary, the State President, the National Assembly Chairman, and the Prime Minister with many positive results.
Through a network of more than 90 Vietnamese representative agencies abroad, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health have coordinated to drastically implement this task. Thereby, Vietnam has had access to a number of vaccine sources of other countries and international organizations. That has made an important contribution to Vietnam's vaccination strategy.
So far, Vietnam has made commitments, agreements, contracts and has received many aid sources from China, the US, Japan, Australia, the UK and other countries with an amount of over 130 million doses. The country is negotiating to purchase another 40 million vaccine doses to bring the total to 170 million doses by the end of 2021.
Thanks to vaccine diplomacy, in July alone, more than 12 million vaccine doses were allocated to epidemic-affected localities; provinces and cities that are economic locomotives; and other provinces to give vaccinations to priority subjects under Resolution 21 of the Government.
In July, despite the complicated pandemic, Vietnam's diplomacy was active with two visits by the British and US defense ministers. The significance of these two visits goes beyond normal defense cooperation.
At the meeting between the Vietnam - UK Defense Ministers, Minister Phan Van Giang thanked the British Government for its concern and experience sharing in the prevention and control of the Covid-19 epidemic and for putting Vietnam on the priority list for vaccine supply. He also proposed that within his authority, his British counterpart could assist the Ministry of National Defense of Vietnam in accessing Covid-19 vaccine supply.
During a meeting with Vietnamese leaders, referring to the context of the Covid-19 epidemic, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was happy to disclose information about the supply of 5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine for Vietnam in the spirit of friendship in the fight against the global pandemic. Mr. Lloyd Austin said that in the coming time, the US would continue to cooperate with Vietnam to develop a vaccine against Covid-19, provide equipment for Vietnam's Covid-19 prevention and control efforts, and do the best they can to support Vietnam in this regard.
The Vietnamese Party, State, Government and people always appreciate the practical and timely help of international friends in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. In exchanges, phone calls and letters to the leaders of other countries, Vietnamese top leaders all expressed their sincere and deep thanks for foreign partners’ assistance, considering this as proof of the good relationship between the two sides.
For its part, Vietnam has also shown a sense of responsibility by joining the international community to fight this dangerous disease through international cooperation activities, sharing experiences and epidemic prevention and control resources to the fullest extent possible for people of other countries, devotedly treating Covid-19 infected foreigners, and contributing $500,000 to the COVAX fund.
These achievements are considered a bright spot in Vietnam's foreign affairs activities in the first six months of the year as well as a bright spot in its efforts to prevent and control the Covid-19 epidemic.
The largest vaccination campaign ever is being rolled out across the country. As of August 1, more than 6.2 million were vaccinated, including about 5.5 million people getting the first dose and more than 620,000 people getting the second dose of vaccine.
Vietnam is struggling with the 4th wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of infections has spiked and is now at the highest level since the virus appeared in Vietnam early last year.