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Localities not allowed to directly buy Covid-19 vaccines

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HCMC – As the injection of Covid-19 vaccines is an extremely sensitive issue, the Ministry of Health will coordinate the purchase, distribution and injection of the vaccines to prevent localities from directly negotiating with enterprises to buy them, said Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long.

At a meeting of the national steering committee for Covid-19 infection prevention and control on March 5, the minister said besides the import of Covid-19 vaccines, Vietnam needs to focus on the research and production of its own vaccines. This is a long-term strategy.

It is hard to access the Covid-19 vaccines of other countries as supplies are limited, while many countries have registered to buy a large volume of vaccines.

Since May 2020, the Ministry of Health has negotiated to buy Covid-19 vaccines. However, it is impossible to ensure a sufficient supply immediately. They are newly-developed vaccines, so their quality and effectiveness have yet to be determined.

COVAX Facility will provide Vietnam with five million doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine this year and 25 million doses next year.

Minister Long also warned of fraud in the local Covid-19 vaccine supply. The news that some companies had affirmed that they could supply AstraZeneca’s vaccine was inaccurate, the minister said, adding that all Covid-19 vaccines are now licensed by the Ministry of Health.

As for more than 117,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine which has arrived in Vietnam, the minister said on March 3, Vietnam received certificates of the quality of the batch from South Korea and other independent testing agencies.

Local residents are eligible to receive the vaccine, Minister Long said.

Those directly participating in the treatment of Covid-19 patients at 18 treatment facilities will be injected first, followed by residents in pandemic hotspots in 13 localities reporting Covid-19 patients, especially Hai Duong.

At the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said the injection of the vaccine must be fair. Residents must be sufficiently provided with necessary information. Further, the Ministry of Health must be prepared for possible problems during the injection.

By Song Nghi

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