In 2021, Vietnam is expected to have 110 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from many sources and some groups of people will be given priority.
Vietnam will have at least 60 million doses of vaccine from AstraZeneka.
This year, Vietnam will have 60 million doses of vaccine from AstraZeneka, including 30 million doses ordered by Vietnam and 30 million doses supplied by the international COVAX program. In addition, the Ministry of Health is negotiating with the US, Russia and other providers to buy more vaccines. It is expected that this year the country will have about 110 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines.
According to Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long, Vietnam needs 150 million doses of the vaccine this year.
By the end of this month, the first batch of AstraZeneka vaccine will arrive in Vietnam, but perhaps the number will be less than the initial plan of 204,000 doses.
The Ministry of Health has certified three cold storages of up to -86 degrees Celsius of a private firm to keep the vaccines.
11 priority groups
Deputy Health Minister Tran Van Thuan said that the Ministry of Health is joining Vietnamese representative agencies overseas in vaccine-producing countries to negotiate purchasing more vaccines to have enough for the entire population as soon as possible.
The people given priority for vaccination will be based on the Law on Infections of Vietnam and recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).
“We will prioritize vaccination of health workers, military forces, police officers, people working in quarantine zones, those working in the anti-epidemic front lines, people in epidemic zones, the elderly, and those with underlying medical conditions,” said Deputy Minister Thuan.
With a limited initial supply, priority will be given to frontline health workers, who are at highest risk of exposure to contracting Covid-19.
As the supply of vaccines increases, vaccination will be expanded and provided on demand to enable access to vaccines fairly and transparently.
For the vaccine provided by COVAX, the Ministry of Health has approved z plan to receive, preserve, distribute and use Covid-19 vaccines for the 2021-2022 period.
This year, COVAX plans to supply Vietnam with more than 4.8 million doses. In the first quarter, Vietnam will receive 1.2-1.7 million doses and the remaining doses will be available in the second quarter.
COVAX is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi and the World Health Organization (WHO), alongside key delivery partner UNICEF. Its aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
In the first quarter, the Ministry of Health will give priority to vaccinating 600,000 people, including 500,000 medical workers, and 116,000 people participating in epidemic prevention.
In the second quarter, the Ministry of Health will vaccinate about 1.8 million people from five groups, in the following order:
- Customs officers
- Military forces
- Public security forces
In the second half of the year, COVAX has committed to support vaccines for lower income countries to vaccinate up to 20% of the population. Then, Vietnam will have an additional of about 33 million doses, enough for 16 million people, in the following order:
- People aged above 65
- Those who work in essential service sectors like aviation, transport, tourism, and others
- Those with chronic illnesses
Earlier, at a meeting on February 19, the Minister of Health said that the Ministry encouraged domestic units to actively seek sources of vaccine supply.
Regard the funding for vaccine purchase, Deputy Minister Tran Van Thuan said that the fund for buying COVAX vaccine will mainly come from the state budget. There are also other legitimate sources, including the support of benefactors and businesses.
Provinces that want to buy vaccines for their people have to follow the plans approved by the Government.
For the 30 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, a local organization VNVC will cover it as it was chosen by AstraZeneka as the distributor of AstraZeneka vaccine in Vietnam.
However, VNVC’s vaccine distribution must comply with the plan of the Ministry of Health.
While negotiating with foreign vaccine providers, Vietnam will accelerate vaccine purchases to ensure that all people have access to Covid-19 vaccines.