Việt Nam to receive over 5.6 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines in March-April

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A nurse prepares COVID-19 vaccine to administer to frontline doctors at Thanh Nhàn Hospital in Hà Nội on Tuesday. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyết

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam will receive 5,657,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses in March and April, all made by AstraZeneca, according to the National Expanded Immunisation Programme.

Of the amount, 4,177,000 doses will be supplied by COVAX Facility via the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), with 1,373,800 arriving on March 25 and another 2,803,200 in April.

Meanwhile, 1.48 million doses bought by the Health Ministry via Việt Nam Vaccine SJC (VNVC) will also be delivered in April, as part of the 30 million order for the entire 2021.

The COVAX Facility is the global pooled procurement mechanism for COVID-19 vaccines through which COVAX will ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines for all 190 participating economies, using an allocation framework formulated by WHO.

Việt Nam received the first batch of 117,600 doses of COVID-19 bought from AstraZeneca on February 24, and launched its COVID-19 inoculation drive on March 8, administering the vaccine to frontline medical workers in Hà Nội, HCM City and northern province of Hải Dương, the country’s biggest pandemic hotspot at present.

Moderna vaccines purchase

Meanwhile, HCM City’s health department has submitted a proposal to the municipal People’s Committee to buy 5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from a US producer to meet local demand.

It is estimated that there are 9 million people eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in the city. This means it will need 18 million doses in a double-dose regime.

The local health department has secured a deal with the US-based company Moderna, with the firm agreeing to supply the city with 5 million doses of the mRNA-1273 vaccine in the third quarter of this year. The vaccine for people over 18 years old is recognised by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe, highly effective, and having no serious side effects.

According to data from FDA and Moderna, mRNA-1273 can prevent asymptomatic infections after the first shot. Its efficacy rate was 94.1 per cent among 30,000 people tested. For people over 65 years of age, the rate was 86 per cent. The most common side effects include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain.

According to the proposal, the money used for the purchase will be sourced from the State budget for pandemic prevention and control work and donations of individual and organisation sponsors.

Earlier, the Ministry of Health has allocated to HCM City more than 9,000 doses from the first imported batch of 117,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. — VNS

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