From left to right: PhD Dương Thị Hồng, deputy director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Australian Ambassador to Việt Nam Robyn Mudie, and Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative in Việt Nam pose at the launching ceremony of the supportive package to help support COVID-19 vaccine delivery in Việt Nam. — Photo courtesy of the Australian Embassy
HÀ NỘI — Australia, in co-operation with UNICEF, on Monday launched a support package worth AU$13.5 million (VNĐ241 billion) to aid COVID-19 vaccine delivery in Việt Nam.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Australian Ambassador to Việt Nam Robyn Mudie said the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines via COVAX Facility has arrived in the country, so it was necessary to ensure Việt Nam was fully prepared to administer the mass immunisation programme against COVID-19.
The package will assist Việt Nam in a range of areas to ensure successful vaccine delivery, focusing on helping the country purchase cold chain equipment to store and transport vaccine doses.
It will also provide training courses and materials for Việt Nam’s health workers and officials, and assist with the development of immunisation plans in remote localities.
The funding will support technical assistance for immunisation planning, assessments of vaccine safety and quality, capacity building for health workforces and developing information and communications campaigns.
“Over the coming months, we will be liaising with the Ministry of Health to plan how we can best complement Việt Nam’s vaccination roll-out,” she said.
Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative in Việt Nam, said introducing a new vaccine for COVID-19 was a colossal task for any government with many important steps.
UNICEF, in co-operation with the government of Australia, will work with the Ministry of Health of Việt Nam and other partners to support the introduction and rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Việt Nam.
“No one is safe until everyone is safe, so mass vaccination against COVID-19 is an important step to contain the pandemic, protect frontline workers who serve children and for the country to reopen to the rest of the world,” she said.
PhD Dương Thị Hồng, deputy director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, which has been assigned to receive the support, said the institute would take advantage of the support for the delivery of vaccines to ensure a successful mass immunisation programme.
The package aims to help Việt Nam inoculate the prioritised 20 per cent of the population by the end of 2022 and set the foundation for immunising the remainder of the population as vaccines are rolled out nationwide.
Funding for the programme is drawn from Australia’s A$523.2 million regional Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative, as well as from Australia’s bilateral development co-operation programme with Việt Nam.
In total, Australia has committed A$40 million over three years to support Việt Nam’s vaccine procurement and delivery efforts. Of that, A$34 million comes from Australia’s Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative, and A$6 million from Australia’s bilateral development co-operation programme. — VNS