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HCMC in talks to buy 5 million Moderna doses

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HCMC – The HCMC government on August 11 responded to the Ministry of Health’s requirement on the confirmation of the purchase of five million doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, saying that the city is conducting negotiations to buy the vaccine.

Affirming that it is aware of the importance of vaccines in the fight against the pandemic, the city affirmed that over the past period, with the support of the Government, the Ministry of Health and enterprises, it has tried to tap all opportunities to import Covid-19 vaccines for residents in the city and the country as a whole, the local media reported.

As for the Moderna vaccine purchase, after the city got Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam’s approval to buy the vaccine, it introduced the Saigon Pharmaceutical Company (Sapharco) and the VinaCapital Group to work with Zuellig Pharma, which was designated by the U.S. pharmaceutical and biotechnology company Moderna to import and distribute its vaccine in the Asia-Pacific region.

The city has held multiple meetings with VinaCapital and the relevant agencies and approved the content of a draft memorandum of understanding of the municipal government, Sapharco, Zuellig Pharma and VinaCapital on the vaccine purchase.

On July 7, the municipal government assigned Sapharco to negotiate and sign contracts to buy Covid-19 vaccines in line with the law.

Sapharco is waiting for Zuellig Pharma to send over the draft contract.

If the contract is signed, the vaccine is expected to be handed over to HCMC in the last quarter of this year or the first quarter of next year.

According to the HCMC government, local units are negotiating to suggest Moderna and Zuellig Pharma ship at least two million doses in October this year.

The city is also negotiating to buy at least 10 million vaccine doses, which are expected to arrive in the city at the beginning of the second quarter of 2022.

In order to ensure access to Covid-19 vaccines and improve the mobilization of resources for the purchase of the vaccines, the city proposed the Ministry of Health allow VinaCapital to apply the public-private partnership model. The ministry should quickly issue regulations on the collection of the vaccination fees.

In addition, the ministry should sum up the demand from other localities for the Moderna vaccine to increase the ordered volume of vaccines, which may help accelerate the handover and demand a discount.

The city also proposed the ministry review and exempt the responsibility of vaccine producers and distributors if required.

In May, Zuellig Pharma announced that it would provide Vietnam with five million Moderna doses and the Ministry of Health at the time supported HCMC to buy the vaccine.

The ministry on August 9 asked the HCMC government to confirm if it will buy five million doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. If not, the ministry will propose the prime minister allow other provinces to buy the vaccine.

According to the HCMC Center for Disease Control, on August 10, the city administered more than 310,300 Covid-19 vaccine doses after receiving an additional 600,000 doses.

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