|A nurse prepares an AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shot to give to a worker in Bắc Giang Province, the epicentre of Việt Nam's COVID-19 wave of infections. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam|
HÀ NỘI — President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Sunday sent a letter to US President Joe Biden, asking for COVID-19 vaccine support for Việt Nam as the country is facing a devastating fourth wave of infections.
In the letter, the Vietnamese President thanked the US for having committed US$4 billion to the global COVID-19 vaccine sharing initiative COVAX and notified his counterpart that Việt Nam has received two shipments of 2.5 million doses of AstraZeneca from the initiative so far.
"COVAX is truly a valuable and timely support that helps Việt Nam and many developing countries in the fight against the pandemic amid the global vaccine shortage," President Phúc wrote.
The Vietnamese President welcomed the US' decision to send 80 million surplus vaccine doses to assist global efforts, especially as the COVID-19 situation in Southeast Asia and Việt Nam is seeing complex developments.
President Phúc said he hoped the US would continue to support Việt Nam and other countries in vaccine supplies, and proposed the two sides step up co-operation in research, production and technology transfer for COVID-19 vaccines.
The Vietnamese President said Việt Nam always attaches great importance to the comprehensive partnership with the US and believes that in the spirit of friendship, the two sides will continue to foster bilateral ties and bring further benefits to the peoples of the two nations.
Previously, in talks with leaders of many countries including Russia, China, and Japan, Vietnamese leaders have requested they provide support for Việt Nam to access COVID-19 vaccines and strengthen ties in researching, producing, and transferring technology for COVID-19 vaccine production.
Việt Nam is undergoing a serious COVID-19 outbreak, with more than 4,000 infections since April 27.
Other than 2.5 million doses from COVAX, Việt Nam with a population of 97 million has to date received only 400,000 doses from the order of 30 million it has secured with AstraZeneca.
More than 1 million jabs have been administered, and some 28,000 people have been given the full two doses. — VNS