|Dương Anh Đức, Vice Chairman of HCM City People’s Committee, at a press briefing on Sunday. — Photo from HCM City Press Centre|
HCM CITY — HCM City authorities have confirmed that they have agreed to VinGroup's request to “borrow” 5,000 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to give to their staff who are involved in the COVID-19 fight in the city.
Dương Anh Đức, Vice Chairman of HCM City People’s Committee, explained the reasoning for the permission to the press in Sunday briefing that since the outbreaks began, the private conglomerate has mobilised a huge amount of human resources to assist the city’s authorities to battle the virus and that it is also one of the larger donors to Việt Nam’s COVID-19 response in general.
Đức said the group has donated VNĐ160 billion (US$6.96 million) and made a financial commitment equal to the value of four million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the National COVID-19 Vaccine Fund. They have also provided 2,000 advanced ventilators that are in critical need as cases are rising in HCM City, the country’s current epicentre.
He remarked that the supporting units from VinGroup are actually qualified to get early vaccination but “due to conditions in HCM City, the group wants 5,000 doses in advance to urgently administer to its employees supporting the city in logistics and testing roles.”
The city is conducting another mass inoculation drive for its population with nearly 1 million doses of vaccine, for priority groups including people over 65 years old, economically challenged groups, and medical forces.
Vingroup has also deployed medical units to help the city with PCR testing using biological products, machinery and equipment from its Vinmec Hospital chain.
“The city has allowed the group to borrow COVID-19 vaccine to help inoculate these units. We consider this reasonable and helpful to the city’s fight against COVID-19,” Anh Đức said.
The city official noted the authorities could also consider requests from other entities who provide critical COVID-19 support for the city, depending on the availability of the vaccine supply for HCM City. — VNS