HCMC – The HCMC government will set up a team in charge of buying and administering Covid-19 vaccines, said municipal chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong.
At a meeting on June 11 on the city’s socioeconomic performance in the first five months of the year, Phong said the city aimed to vaccinate two thirds of the city’s residents against Covid-19 by the end of this year.
In addition, Covid-19 vaccine supplies are limited, so they will be prioritized for certain people across specific stages, Phong said, adding that the human resources and cold storage facilities for different kinds of Covid-19 vaccines were different.
Deputy Director of the HCMC Department of Health Nguyen Hoai Nam said not just HCMC but many other localities were also seeking Covid-19 vaccine supplies. Over the past 10 days, the department and municipal leaders have worked with many enterprises, including a firm which could negotiate to buy some five million Covid-19 vaccine doses for the city. The vaccine was expected to be shipped to the city next quarter.
The city will propose the Ministry of Health appraise a cold storage facility of a foreign company. Nam said the Covid-19 vaccine storage was a tough job as the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, for example, must be stored at minus 80 to minus 60 degrees Celsius or the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at minus 20 degrees Celsius.
In HCMC, only Vietnam Vaccine JSC’s cold storage facilities can meet the requirements.
Nam added that it was hard to access Covid-19 vaccines as many suppliers did not want to work with enterprises but through the Government.
As for the Covid-19 vaccination, the city has received 130,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses and provided them to some 65,000 people in charge of fighting the pandemic and those working at airports, seaports and coach stations. The city has also proposed the Ministry of Health provide an additional 70,000 doses to the city.
At a recent meeting of the municipal steering committee for Covid-19 infection prevention and control, secretary of the HCMC Party Committee Nguyen Van Nen said the city was striving to access the most possible Covid-19 vaccine sources at the earliest to vaccinate all local residents. The city has prepared sufficient funds to buy Covid-19 vaccines for all residents
Vietnam’s Covid-19 vaccine which is produced in the city has undergone the third phase of its trial, Nen noted, adding that if successful, locally-made Covid-19 vaccines will be available next quarter.
Under the regulations, only companies specializing in importing and trading in vaccines are allowed to import Covid-19 vaccines. Others wanting to access Covid-19 vaccines must work with the Ministry of Health or one of the 36 companies allowed to import Covid-19 vaccines.