Vietnam promotes a COVID-19 vaccine strategy

Vietnam is dealing with the fourth wave of COVID-19 outbreaks that have spread on the largest scale and at the fastest pace ever. Under the direction of the Prime Minister, from the epidemic prevention state, Vietnam has switched to a proactive attack with a vaccine strategy.

Efforts to acess the COVID-19 vaccines

At present, COVID-19 vaccine is considered the ultimate “weapon” for numerous countries to escape the pandemic. The fact in countries where vaccination has been carried out proved that only COVID-19 vaccine can bring life back to normal.

So far, the total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses that Vietnam has negotiated to buy is 170 million, including 38.9 million doses of vaccine from COVAX program, 30 million doses from AstraZeneca through Vietnam Vaccines joint-stock company (VNVC) and 31 million doses from Pfizer/BioNTech. 
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on May 18 signed Resolution No. 09/NQ-CP dated May 18, 2021 on the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines. In which, the Government assigned the Ministry of Health to urgently conduct the purchase of vaccines as quickly as possible so that vaccinations can be widely implemented in the country.

The Government on June 19 issued a resolution on the purchase of 30 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ordered by the Vietnam Vaccine Joint-stock Company (VNVC).

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong requested the entire political system to pay highest attention to
COVID-19 prevention and control in the spirit of “fighting the pandemic like fighting the enemy”
while chairing a Politburo meeting on this work in Hanoi on June 11. Photo: Tri Dung/VNA

Ambassador Takio conveys a message from Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide to PM Chinh,
which announced the Japanese Government's decision to provide Vietnam with 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Photo: Duong Giang/VNA

Vietnamese Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long and Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo
exchange documents for the handover of the China-donated Vero-Cell vaccine. Photo: VNA 

Nearly one million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Japanese Government arrived at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on late June 16. 
The Ministry of Health and related agencies have actively negotiated and accessed different sources of COVID-19 vaccines. Vietnam was one of the first countries in Southeast Asia to sign a contract to buy the AstraZeneca vaccine and was also one of 92 countries supported by the COVAX Facility, receiving 38.9 million doses. The ministry recently signed an agreement with Pfizer to buy 30 million doses of its vaccine.

Vietnam has conditionally approved five COVID-19 vaccines - A2D1222 by AstraZeneca, Sputnik-V by Gamalaya, Comirnaty by Pfizer, Vero-Cell by Sinopharm, and Spikevax by Moderna to serve urgent needs of pandemic prevention and control.

The AstraZeneca vaccine. Photo: AFP/VNA

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Photo: AFP/VNA

Vaccinating in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Thanh Vu/VNA

 People queue up for vaccine shots in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Thanh Vu/VNA 

Vietnam is stepping up the COVID-19 vaccination campaign as well as efforts to secure 150 million vaccine doses this year with a view to inoculating 70 percent of its population to achieve herd immunity in 2021.

The Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations, the Foreign Ministry and the Health Ministry, in coordination with the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam, received the vaccine along with 502,400 disposable 1-ml syringes on June 20 afternoon.

COVID-19 vaccine fund contributes to fighting COVID-19 

Responding to the rapid transmissions of COVID-19 in the community, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has issued a resolution approving in principle the establishment of a COVID-19 vaccine fund.

According to the decision, the Vietnam Fund for Vaccination Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (VFVC) is set up to receive, manage, and use voluntary financial and vaccine donations and assistance from domestic and foreign organizations and individuals, along with other legal sources, for the COVID-19 vaccine procurement and import, research and production in the country, and the provision of vaccines for people.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and a donor at the launching ceremony of the COVID-19 vaccine fund. Photo: Duong Giang/VNA

Representatives of all classes of people support the COVID-19 vaccine fund. Photo: Duong Giang/VNA

Vietnamese overseas donates money to the COVID-19 vaccine fund at the Vietnamese Embassy in Mexico. Photo: Viet Hung/VNA 

The government's policy has been enthusiastically supported by the business community and people, joining hands to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Right after establishment, the fund has received financial assistance from agencies, enterprises, organizations and individuals.

Accroding to the management board, the national COVID-19 vaccine fund received over 7.95 trillion dong (344.5 million US dollars) as of June 30 afternoon.

“This is a fund of kindness, solidarity, faith, and hearts connecting hearts so that we can overcome difficulties together, contributing to creating a victorious Vietnam. Once again we can write the history of the nation's glorious victory - victory over the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh speaks at the launching ceremony of the COVID-19 fund

Vietnam speeds up COVID-19 vaccine production 

Following the direction of the Party and Government, right after the COVID-19 outbreak in Vietnam, the Health Ministry directed units to study and clinically test made-in-Vietnam vaccines while seeking technology transfers from abroad to proactively fight the pandemic in the country.

Nano Covax is one of 15 COVID-19 vaccines in the world which are in the third-phase of clicical trials. If the vaccine is liscened, Vietnam can produce 100 million doses/year. 
Vietnam has two domestic manufacturers who are researching and developing COVID-19 vaccines. Nano Covax, a home-grown COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC’s is currently in the third phase of trials which have been carried out by the Military Medical University and the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute and in Hung Yen, Long An and Tien Giang provinces.

This vaccine is expanding the research subjects of people 18 years and older who fully met the inclusion criteria and did not have any exclusion criteria according to the research proposal.

The third-phase trials will cover 13,000 volunteers to assess the safety, immune response, and protective efficacy of the vaccine (including 1,000 subjects for the midterm to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity).

Another candidate is COVIVAC by the Nha Trang Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) which is in the first stage of clinical testing. The second stage is scheduled to take place in Thai Binh province.

The health minister on May 7 issued Decision No.2301/QD-BYT on the establishment of a steering committee for a research program on COVID-19 vaccine technology transfer and production.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh had a working session in Hanoi on June 7 with domestic scientists
and representatives of vaccine research and production units. Photo: Duong Giang/VNA

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue has a working visit
to the Military Medical University under the Defence Ministry in Hanoi. Photo: Doan Tan/VNA

A volunteer gets a Nano Covax vaccine jab in the third-phase clinical trial at the the Military Medical University. Photo: Minh Quyet/VNA

An enterprise negotiated with a US manufacturer to transfer the technology of producing a vaccine from mRNA which requires only one shot of 5mg. The facility will be capable of producing 100-200 million doses each year, starting from the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of next year.

At present, the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 (VABIOTECH) is stepping up negotiations with a Japanese partner to transfer their technology to Vietnam.

It also signed a deal with a Russian investment fund for the sale of 5 million doses of Sputnik-V vaccine each month, towards transferring technology with an annual capacity of 100 million doses.

As of June 30, 2021, a total of 3,776,980 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Vietnam. In which, the number of people who have been fully vaccinated with 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine is 193,041 people. 

Sumerized by Trong Chinh

Efforts to Prevent Landslides in the Mekong Delta Region

Efforts to Prevent Landslides in the Mekong Delta Region

The situation of serious riverside and coastal landslides and erosion and mangrove forest degradation in the Mekong Delta region is now happening faster and more seriously, directly affecting production and the lives of residents. In order to prevent, control and minimize damage from landslides and flash floods, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh asked ministries, sectors and localities to ensure safety for residents in landslide areas and major infrastructure facilities and proactively build basic, methodical and sustainable works to prevent landslides.