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Vaccines, drug, awareness – key to living safely with COVID-19

Vietnam has shifted its strategy from “zero COVID-19” to safely and flexibly adaptation to and effectively containment of the pandemic, under which ensuring vaccines for all people is one of the main goals.

COVID-19 vaccines and treatment drugs are the key and the prerequisite to help Vietnam live safely with the coronavirus, said Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), Vu, who is also deputy head of the government’s working group on COVID-19 vaccine diplomacy, highlighted the timely establishment of the working group, which is important in stepping up the vaccine strategy and ensuring quick access to vaccine sources. 

Since its inception, the working group has improved the coordination of different channels and at different levels in vaccine diplomacy, resulting in more vaccine delivered to Vietnam, according to the official.

Vu further explained that Vietnam had about 16 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in August, and 54 million last month, saying the country expects to get more doses this month, enough to cover the majority of its population.

The biggest difficulty in ensuring vaccines for Vietnam’s population of nearly 100 million as soon as possible lies in the limited supply, he said.

Vu, however, said with its prestige and position in the international arena, a wide network of friends and partners, and its role in the global supply change, Vietnam has been receiving support from many countries in this regard.

During the first stage of the pandemic, Vietnam also helped international friends with masks and medical supplies, which has been appreciated by the international community. The international support to Vietnam now, therefore, is part of the returns.

Vu has high hope on Vietnam’s access to more COVID-19 vaccine sources in the time ahead, saying the focus in the time ahead should be on implementing vaccine purchase agreements between Vietnam and partners and vaccine producers in the world.

He also suggested promoting and materialising cooperation possibilities in the transfer of production technologies of COVID-19 vaccines.

Apart from vaccines and drug treatments, Vietnam needs to intensify the communication work to raise public awareness of long-term adaptation to COVID-19, encouraging them to observe pandemic prevention and control measures in the new normal, he said./.