|An illustration of a syringe containing a dose of the Sputnik V vaccine. — AFP/VNA Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The Government has given a private corporation approval to enter into negotiations to procure 40 million doses of Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.
The Government agreed with the health ministry’s proposal to introduce T&T Group, a Hà Nội-based multifield corporation, to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), an investor and marketer of the vaccine outside of Russian territory, to start talks on the purchase.
T&T Group has made various contributions to the COVID-19 fight in Việt Nam, including donating more than 180,000 test kits and 150 million syringes to the health ministry for use in the national vaccination drive, as well as giving VNĐ120 billion (US$5.2 million) to the National COVID-19 Vaccine Fund.
A Government resolution on the approval notes that the funds used for the deal are "legal financial resources mobilised by the corporation," and would not involve the State budget or the National COVID-19 fund, which to date, has received more than VNĐ8trillion (about $348 million) in donations.
Per a request from the Sputnik V vaccine manufacturer, an agreement to protect the manufacturer from liability regarding issues occurring during the use of the vaccines will also be signed – similar to deals between the health ministry and Pfizer and AstraZeneca for their vaccines imported by the Việt Nam Vaccine Company (VNVC).
Vietnamese authorities will be responsible for the granting of import permits, conducting assessment and quality controls of the imported vaccine batches, and administering the entire supply free of charge.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is tasked with completing diplomatic tasks to import the vaccines and the Ministry of Transport must work with the Ministry of Health on vaccine transportation issues.
The Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Public Security, and other agencies and local authorities need to collaborate with the Ministry of Health to build a vaccination plan for eligible officers, employees, and people under their jurisdiction.
Vietnamese health authorities granted conditional approval for emergency use of the Sputnik V vaccine on March 25. — VNS