HÀ NỘI — Since being approved by the 14th National Assembly in April 2021, the Government has experienced an unprecedented year full of challenges, 36 years on from the beginning of Đổi mới (Renewal).
However, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Việt Nam (CPV), and with reasonable decisions and policies adopted in different periods, the Government has firmly sailed through the tough year, recovering economic activities and ensuring social welfare.
Thanks to drastic measures, Việt Nam’s universal COVID-19 vaccination strategy reached a milestone on April 14 when the northern province of Quảng Ninh became the first locality nationwide to administer vaccines to sixth graders, commencing the inoculation of children aged five to 11.
Việt Nam's vaccination of the youngest age group is a pragmatic move to control the pandemic and protect public health, as the Government has resolved to do.
The pandemic has gradually been brought under control and socio-economic activities have returned to near normal in Việt Nam. However, the Government has continued with vaccine diplomacy for the health of the people, especially the young generations.
Since the beginning of the new tenure, the Government encountered an array of huge challenges, particularly those caused by the COVID-19, that severely affected socio-economic activities.
Given this, under the leadership of the Party headed by General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng, the Government and Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính, together with the entire political system, have fulfilled many of their major tasks, including unexpected and unprecedented ones like achieving the “dual goals” of pandemic containment and economic recovery, with ensuring people’s safety and health as the first and foremost task.
Regarding vaccine diplomacy, the decisive spearhead of the strategy PM Chính signed Decision No 1399/QD-TTg dated August 13, 2021, on the establishment of the Government’s working group on vaccine diplomacy, led by the foreign minister and staffed by representatives from the Government Office, and the ministries of foreign affairs, health, national defence, public security, industry and trade, science and technology.
The formation of the working group is important as it further demonstrates the consistent guideline of the Party and the State of putting people’s health first and foremost, maximising domestic and international resources to drive back the pandemic, and bringing socio-economic activities and people’s lives back to normal as soon as possible. It also proves the Government’s strong determination to roll back the pandemic.
With a high sense of responsibility, the group has worked hard to call for donations from international partners and organisations, boosting cooperation in COVID-19 vaccine production as well as the transfer of production technologies, medicines and medical equipment in the pandemic fight to soon reach universal vaccination.
The Government has also urged partners to hand over vaccines to Việt Nam on or before the schedule, checking with foreign partners and verifying information about the capacity to supply vaccines, medicines and medical equipment.
To drastically implement the PM’s instructions, with a high sense of responsibility, the group coordinated with agencies and sectors to promptly carry out vaccine diplomacy activities, and reaped significant outcomes.
The Ministry of Health said Việt Nam has received 232.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far, of which more than 51 million doses have arrived in the Southeast Asian nation through the COVAX Facility, and over 26 million others are from the US Government. The Australian Government has also committed some 13.7 million doses for children from five to 11 years old.
Thanks to those efforts, more than 212.6 million doses have been administered, with 194.6 million for people above 18 years old, more than 17.3 million for those from 12 to 17, and 667,900 for the youngest age group, in 45 cities and provinces nationwide.
The unprecedented success of the vaccine diplomacy strategy has turned Việt Nam into one of the six countries with the highest vaccine coverage in the world and led to a sharp decline in fatalities.
It is also an important factor for Việt Nam to shift from the “zero COVID” policy to another on safely and flexibly adapting to and effectively controlling the COVID-19, as set out in Resolution No 128/NQ-CP issued by the Government.
The success, along with the Government’s timely issuance of the resolution, has played a role in national economic recovery. The “dual goals” have seen initial results.
The Government has firmly sailed through the unprecedented pandemic storm in recent years. More importantly, the humane goal of ensuring the health of each citizen has been realised.
Despite various challenges ahead in the recovery journey, thanks to outcomes of the vaccine strategy, people are increasingly confident in and supported major policies on socio-economic development adopted by the Government, which take the people as the centre and target of sustainable development. VNS