A health worker holds a vial of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine before administration during a vaccination drive Long Biên District, Hà Nội in early September 2021. — VNA/VNS Photo Thành Đạt
HÀ NỘI — The National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology has issued a decision to allocate 8 million doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine Vero Cell to 25 localities across the country.
The vaccines are new donations from HCM City-based Vạn Thịnh Phát, following the deal for 5 million doses of the Chinese vaccines that the private group sponsored and donated to HCM City in late July, which have also been used in many southern localities amid the ongoing severe coronavirus outbreaks.
In the latest allocation plan, the northern region received the majority of the doses.
The capital city of Hà Nội receives 1,359,000 doses, followed by Quảng Ninh Province with 700,000 doses.
Lạng Sơn, Yên Bái, Hải Phòng receive 500,000 doses each, followed by Bắc Ninh with 400,000 doses, Bắc Giang and Nam Định with 200,000 doses, Hưng Yên with 147,000, Vĩnh Phúc with 100,000, and Hải Dương with 94,400.
Four central provinces of Thanh Hoá, Nghệ An, Quảng Trị, and Bình Định receive 200,000 doses each, while the south-central coastal province is allocated 300,000 doses.
For the southern region, HCM City is allocated the largest amount with 500,000 doses, followed by Kiên Giang Province with 300,000 doses. Long An, Lâm Đồng, Tây Ninh, Bến Tre, Đồng Tháp provinces each got 200,000 doses. Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu got 100,000 doses, Tiền Giang is allocated 96,200 doses.
Vạn Thịnh Phạt Group itself is allowed to keep 200,000 doses, to be stored at the cold storage of Sapharco, also the importer of the vaccines.
The Pasteur Institute in HCM City received the vaccines
To date, Việt Nam has received some 50 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. 34.6 million doses have been administered so far.
Also in a related move, the Drug Administration of Việt Nam has agreed to allow Vimedimex to import 30 million doses of Hayat-Vax COVID-19 vaccines.
Hayat-Vax are basically Sinopharm Vero Cell vaccines, only that they are packaged by Julphar Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries in the United Arab Emirates (still noted to be produced by Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co. Ltd., subsidiary of China National Biotec Group, the producer of Sinopharm).
It was given conditional approval by the Vietnamese health ministry for emergency use on September 10, the seventh to obtain such authorisation, after AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Sputnik V, Moderna, Janssen, and Sinopharm’s Vero Cell.
According to Assoc. Prof. Phd Trịnh Văn Lẩu, former director of the Central Institute for Drug Accreditation, rigorous quality controls are implemented in six steps – first, by Sinopharm, then by UAE’s health ministry, then by Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries one more time before bottling the vials, by the UAE’s health ministry once again before the batches of vaccines are transported to Việt Nam. The Vietnamese importer with the help of the National Institute for Control of Vaccines and Biologicals have also inspected the documentation and records of the vaccine batches are delivered at the end of this week.
And finally, the National Institute for Control of Vaccines and Biologicals will assess the quality of the batches in Việt Nam before giving the greenlight for use in Việt Nam. — VNS