According to a representative of the Vietnam Vaccine Joint Stock Company (VNVC), the AstraZeneca vaccine will be directly transported to the VNVC’s super-cold storage units in HCM City’s Phu Nhuan district.
The VNVC has been permitted by the Ministry of Health to receive, preserve and distribute COVID-19 vaccines across the country.
This is the first batch of the vaccine that Vietnam has imported from AstraZeneca.
Vietnam has reached a deal with AstraZeneca to purchase 30 million doses of its vaccine in the first half of 2021.
It has also reached an agreement with COVAX, a facility co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), GAVI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), to receive another 30 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The Ministry of Health has identified first groups of people to be vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, with frontline healthcare workers given top priority.
According to the ministry, Vietnam needs at least 150 million doses to COVID-19 vaccinate its nearly 100 million people.
Four Vietnamese research institutes and companies are in the process of researching and developing COVID-19 vaccines. Two of the locally produced vaccines, Nano Covax and Covivac, are currently under human clinical trials.
A fresh outbreak has gripped Vietnam since the SARS-CoV-2 virus recurred in late January 2021. As many as 811 new cases have been detected in 13 cities and provinces across the country, with 624 cases confirmed in Hai Duong alone, the epicenter of the fresh outbreak.