Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lê Thị Thu Hằng during Thursday press briefing. — Photo from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam welcomes the sharing of COVID-19 vaccines, information and technology to aid the fight against the pandemic, spokesperson for the foreign ministry Lê Thị Thu Hằng said.
She made the statement in response to recent announcements of vaccine donation, two million doses of Moderna from the US via COVAX Facility, and additional one million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the Japanese Government.
UNICEF Việt Nam, which administers the delivery of vaccines under COVAX initiative, confirmed with Việt Nam News that the shipment from the US is slated to enter the country via Nội Bài International Airport in Hà Nội early Saturday morning. The remaining doses from Japan is due to arrive at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in HCM City on Friday morning, according to the health ministry.
“Việt Nam welcomes and appreciates the sharing of COVID-19 vaccines, and the information and technology necessary to aid the fight against the pandemic,” spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, Lê Thị Thu Hằng said.
“Amid the complicated nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, Việt Nam hopes that countries and international organisations will be united and fulfill their responsibilities to the global community,” Hằng said.
To date, Việt Nam has received four different types of COVID-19 vaccines from Japan, China, Russia, and the US, along with purchases. COVAX has also pledged to give priority to Việt Nam in its future distribution.
Việt Nam itself has also contributed US$500 million to the global vaccine sharing initiative which aims to ensure equitable access to the vaccine, despite itself struggling to get enough vaccines for its population of almost 100 million amidst serious recent spike in COVID-19 infections.
As of July 7, 3,960,956 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Việt Nam, and 241,913 people have been given two full doses, according to a report Thursday from the health ministry.
Chinese vaccine administration
Previously on June 20, Việt Nam received some 500,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines along with 502,400 single-use syringes as aid, and the bilateral agreement is understood as to give them to will be given to Chinese nationals living in Việt Nam, Vietnamese people who intend to go to work or study in China and residents in the border region with China.
Hằng also affirmed that these doses will be used in line with Government Resolution 21 dated February 26, 2021 on the purchases and uses of COVID-19 vaccines, in response to questions over recent reports from China complaining that Việt Nam's allocation decisions have not been in line with the two countries' original plan.
"Per China’s request, Việt Nam will also carry out the vaccination of Chinese citizens working in the country,” the spokesperson said.
The Vietnamese health ministry has announced its distribution plan for the vaccine doses which states that nearly all will be used for the three above-mentioned groups in the nine northern provinces. This, however, has sparked concerns in China that Chinese nationals in other localities of Việt Nam are missing out. — VNS