|Vials of COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V. — AFP/VNA Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Health minister Nguyễn Thanh Long on Wednesday led talks with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) about the deal on supplies of COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V and technology transfer.
Long congratulated Russia on having successfully developed a COVID-19 vaccine, which marked an important milestone in Russia's fight against the pandemic.
Việt Nam's health authorities have authorised Sputnik V for emergency use in the country since March, he said, adding that Việt Nam has submitted its intent to order Sputnik V vaccines since August last year but given supply constraints, Russian manufacturers could not meet the demands of many countries, including Việt Nam.
He said Việt Nam has negotiated many times with relevant Russian agencies and authorities to get access to COVID-19 vaccines to use in the mass inoculation programme and, to date, the Russian side has agreed to provide 20 million doses to Việt Nam in 2021.
Other than buying vaccines, to ensure sufficient coverage, domestic production is also important and Việt Nam is eyeing vaccine technology transfer in their talks with Russian partners.
The Vietnamese health minister noted that State-owned Vabiotech (Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 Company) has worked with Russia to be able to start bottling and packaging the Sputnik V vaccine in Việt Nam starting as soon as July with an output of 5 million doses a month.
This is a foundation for further vaccine production technology transfer from Russia to Việt Nam.
The health ministry also requested enterprises and corporations continue to exchange and cooperate closely with the Russian side in technology transfer to be able to set up a capable vaccine factory in Việt Nam to serve domestic demand as well as export purposes in the future.
Long said in today’s negotiations, the Russian side completely supported Việt Nam’s proposals, adding that the proposals would soon materialise to ensure vaccine supply to Việt Nam.
Also today, State President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has sent a letter to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, which includes a request to faciitate vaccine access to Việt Nam as well as production of Russian vaccines in Việt Nam. — VNS