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Sunday, October 24, 2021

First shipment of Covid vaccine doses from Australia arrives in Vietnam

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Australia delivered 403,000 Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Vietnam on Thursday, as part of its commitment to support the Southeast Asian country to bring the highly contagious Delta variant under control.

The Australian Government in Vietnam said on its official Facebook page that the first shipment is expected to speed up Vietnam’s vaccine rollout in the face of surging case numbers across the Southeast Asian country, helping “ensure everyone living in Vietnam is immunized as soon as possible.”

“Australia and Vietnam are strong, strategic partners with a shared interest in maintaining a stable Indo-Pacific. Today, more than 400,000 Covid-19 doses were delivered, as Vietnam responds to a surge in cases,” said Marise Payne, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, on her Facebook page the same day.

Payne added this shipment is part of Australia’s commitment to share 1.5 million Covid-19 vaccine doses with Vietnam by the end of this year.

“Access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines is the highest priority for countries in our region, which will help to save lives and promote our shared economic recovery,” she stressed.

In a bid to inoculate around 70% of its population of more than 98 million, Vietnam has so far got over 16.3 million people vaccinated with a first dose and nearly 2.14 million others with two doses.

The country has reported more than 388,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and over 9,600 deaths, or 2.5% of the total infections, since the onset of the pandemic.

The highly infectious Delta variant has been seen as the main culprit behind the rising death rate, and the ratio between confirmed infections and deaths, which was, as of Thursday, 0.4% higher than the world’s average Covid-19 death rate.

By Thanh Thom

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