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Procurement of Covid-19 vaccines an urgent task: PM

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HCMC – The purchase of Covid-19 vaccines is a necessary and urgent task that must be completed immediately, said Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, asking the Government Office and some ministries to consult with Cabinet members over the purchase of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine as its procurement has faced obstacles.

At a meeting of the Government on the purchase of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine on May 17, the prime minister said Cabinet members must be consulted with before 9 a.m. today, May 18, the local media reported.

According to the Ministry of Health, Pfizer did not agree to negotiate over the price of the vaccine and contract conditions, and the Vietnamese side must reply to the company on May 18 at the latest.

Therefore, the Government leader asked the Ministry of Health to take responsibility for the selection of the Covid-19 vaccines.

In the spirit of “fighting the pandemic is like fighting an enemy” and the context of shortage of Covid-19 vaccines worldwide, PM Chinh said the vaccines should be bought as soon as possible.

He assigned the Government Office to work with the Ministries of Health, Planning and Investment and Justice to consult with Cabinet members on the purchase of the Pfizer vaccine and draft a resolution of the Government on the purchase.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment was asked to assess the solution proposed by the Ministry of Health to buy Covid-19 vaccines and draft a decision approving the solution to choose contractors in line with the Bidding Law and report the results to the prime minister.

Vietnam is using AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine and more than 977,000 people across the country have been injected with the vaccine, including over 22,500 people who have received two shots.

At a Government meeting on May 15, Minister Long said Vietnam had bought and registered to buy some 170 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines. However, he was not sure about the vaccine provision progress as it was dependent on producers and providers.

In addition, the Ministry of Health has registered to buy an additional 10 million doses through the COVAX Facility and proposed to the World Health Organization that it should receive Covid-19 vaccine production technologies.

In Vietnam, four units are studying and producing Covid-19 vaccines, including two under clinical trial. If successful, they will be put to use in 2022.

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