|The first batch of Japan-donated AstraZeneca vaccines arrived at Nội Bài International Airport, Hà Nội, on June 16, 2021. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Japan will donate another 1 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to Việt Nam, Japanese foreign minister Motegi Toshimitsu said on Tuesday morning at a press briefing.
The shipment is expected to leave Japan the night of July 15 and arrive at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in HCM City the morning of July 16.
“Japan expressed its admiration for the efforts that Vietnamese people are making every day in COVID-19 response. Let’s hold hands tightly to overcome the pandemic,” the Japanese embassy in Việt Nam said in a post regarding the vaccine assistance from the Japanese Government on its website.
The embassy also noted that on Monday, Japanese ambassador Yamada Takio and Vietnamese health minister Nguyễn Thanh Long exchanged notes on vaccine supply.
With the latest announcement, Japan’s vaccination donation to Việt Nam has reached nearly 3 million delivered through four shipments, with the first batch coming on June 16.
The amount is also the largest vaccine aid a country has pledged and donated to Việt Nam, followed by the batch of 2 million doses of Moderna from the US Government.
As of July 12, 4,063,872 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, mostly AstraZeneca, have been administered in Việt Nam, with 280,367 receiving the full two doses.
Japan has pledged $1 billion and 30 million doses to the global vaccine sharing scheme COVAX, but so far its donations have been outside of that programme, as AstraZeneca doses produced in Japan have not yet been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for use in COVAX until very recently.
The foreign minister has said that due to this issue, Japan has turned to bilateral deals to respond to "urgent requests for vaccine supplies” in a press briefing in early July, according to Reuters.
During a press briefing on Monday, WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced that two more manufacturing sites of AstraZeneca in Japan and Australia had received a WHO Emergency Use Listing, which would greenlight “COVAX to buy vaccines from these additional facilities, and enables countries to expedite their own regulatory approval to import and roll out vaccines.” — VNS