|Deputy Minister of Health Trương Quốc Cường at the Government’s meeting on Thursday afternoon.— Photo baochinhphu.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam will secure a total of 170 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the future, Deputy Minister of Health Trương Quốc Cường told a government meeting on Thursday.
He said although no clear delivery date had been set, more inoculations will begin to arrive in Việt Nam from August.
But he said that because Việt Nam had done so well containing the virus compared with other parts of the world, vaccine manufacturers could prioritise those countries more in need.
The ministry was tasked to import at least 150 million doses to vaccinate 70 per cent of the population aged 18 and over.
To buy the vaccines in the fastest way, the Government created favourable conditions for businesses, corporations and localities to import vaccines, he said.
There were two ways for businesses to buy vaccines he said, donating money to the COVID-19 Vaccine Fund or directly importing from trusted sources.
“Vaccines are now imported in a state of emergency with the quality guaranteed by the manufacturer,” he said.
The deputy minister added that although the vaccines were normally certified by the World Health Organisation or other countries, Việt Nam must still monitor and evaluate results.
“We must accept that the vaccines have been certified by the World Health Organisation or certified by some European countries, the US and Russia,” he said.
Deputy Minister of Finance Tạ Anh Tuấn said that although the need to secure more vaccinations was crucial, the cost to purchase enough doses to inoculate the whole population was huge.
“According to preliminary calculations, the cost of buying and injecting vaccines is about VNĐ25 trillion (US$1.08 billion),” Tuấn said.
He also pointed out that the additional cost of annual booster injections would need to be factored into the amount.
The Party and State would use the State budget and legal funds through socialisation to buy and vaccinate the people, he said.
Following the Government's direction, the finance ministry has established a dedicated vaccine fund.
The ministry also issued a decision to establish a fund management board, as well as ensuring transparency, he said.
“The fund's balance is currently at almost VNĐ104 billion ($4.5 million),” he said, adding that a further donation received of about VNĐ1 trillion ($43.1 million) would be added to the fund.
Tuấn said they would work with a number of other companies, under the Committee for Management of State Capital at Enterprises, which have pledged a further VNĐ2 trillion ($86.2 million).
Private enterprises have also offered support to the fund, he added, and he encouraged individuals and organisations to donate.
Pandemic prevention in industrial parks
Deputy Minister of Health Trương Quốc Cường said currently many industrial parks were implementing dual goals of preventing the spread of the virus while working towards economic recovery.
When the pandemic hit industrial parks, the virus spread quickly due to the high concentration of people working there.
The Government and the health ministry ordered priority be given to vaccinating workers in the industrial parks and have sent 150,000 doses of the vaccine to both Bắc Ninh and Bắc Giang provinces.
Workers have been strongly reminded to keep their distance from colleagues and wear masks at all times, and quarantine areas must be prepared in case of emergencies.
The previously detected virus variants spread through droplets of saliva so the recommendation was a 2m distance between people, according to Cường. Now that it has been determined the new variants could spread in the air, masks are even more essential.
In HCM City, although no new infections have been detected at industrial parks, businesses have been told to put preparations in place in case of an outbreak, including preparing quarantine areas. VNS
Watch our video on how medical workers cope with the hot weather when working at the pandemic hotspot in Bắc Giang Province