HCMC – Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai signed a decision on September 17 to approve the purchase of nearly 20 million doses of American drug firm Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine.
According to the decision, the Government will use more than VND2.65 trillion (US$111 million) from the national Covid-19 vaccine fund to purchase the vaccine and pay inoculation and related costs on the request of the Ministry of Health.
The Government asked the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance to take responsibility for the management and use of the funding in an effective and transparent manner.
As of September 17, more than 33 million Covid-19 vaccine doses had been administered nationwide. Vietnam has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the region as only some 6 million people, representing 6.3% of the population, have received two doses.
In related news, the Ministry of Health approved Cuba’s Abdala Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use on September 17.
This is the eighth Covid-19 vaccine approved for use in Vietnam, following AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer, Sinopharm, Sputnik V and Hayat-Vax.
Late last month Cuba pledged to supply a large amount of the Abdala Covid-19 vaccine and transfer the production technology to Vietnam by the end of this year.
Abdala is a protein subunit vaccine developed by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology of Cuba.
The Caribbean country began administering Abdala en masse in May, even before it approved the vaccine on July 9.
In late June, the state-run biopharmaceutical corporation BioCubaFarma announced that the three-shot Abdala vaccine proved 92.28% effective against the coronavirus in the final stage of clinical trials.