Việt Nam moves to establish $1 billion COVID-19 vaccine fund

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Việt Nam to set up $1.1 billion COVID-19 vaccine fund. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Finance is seeking the Government’s approval for the establishment of a COVID-19 vaccine fund, it announced on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Health plans to buy 150 million doses of vaccine to inoculate about 75 million people at an estimated cost of VNĐ25.2 trillion (US$1.09 billion). Of the amount, VNĐ21 trillion will be used to purchase vaccines and the remainder will cover transportation, preservation, distribution and vaccination costs.

The MoF said VNĐ16 trillion for vaccine procurement will come from the State budget, while the remaining VNĐ9.2 trillion will be mobilised from localities, businesses and organisations.

If the pandemic persists, leading to an annual demand for vaccines, it will be difficult to fulfill the target of having all people inoculated if Việt Nam depends on the State budget only, according to the finance ministry.

Therefore, the establishment of the COVID-19 vaccine fund is necessary to meet urgent requirements in the fight against the pandemic and speed up vaccine purchases and imports for the sake of the immunisation drive.

The non-profit fund will manage and co-ordinate its finances for sponsorship, purchase and usage of COVID-19 vaccines. Its operation will be placed under the supervision of State financial management institutions and the State Audit Office of Việt Nam.

It must report its budget collection and spending to the Government and the National Assembly, as well as publicise its sources of funding, list of donors and balance.

The Government earlier issued a resolution promulgating the purchase and use of vaccines, given the complex developments of COVID-19 across the world and decisions of the Politburo and the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat to buy vaccines with money mainly from the State budget along with other legal financial sources.

The resolution stipulates that the sources include allocations from the State budget, assistance of organisations, individuals at home and abroad and other legal sources of funding, as well as sums voluntarily paid by vaccine users.

By May 19, 1,011,395 doses of COVID-19 vaccines – primarily AstraZeneca – have been administered for frontline workers and medical staff in Việt Nam.

About 28,800 people have received the full two doses. — VNS

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