Viet Nam is seeking support from the private sector to secure enough funding to nail deals of 150 million COVID-19 doses in 2021 in an effort to achieve herd immunity as soon as possible.
Massive inoculation is crucial in the pandemic battle
It is not only Viet Nam, but governments around the globe are speeding up COVID-19 vaccine rollout to have at least two thirds of their populations jabbed by the end of 2021. The vaccines are universally deemed as the most effective shield to protect people against the coronavirus, raising hopes of returning life to normal.
Relative normalcy has returned to several countries following their widespread COVID-19 vaccination campaigns. Many others, however, are facing difficulties in getting the vaccines due to the scarce supply and high costs.
Viet Nam estimates it will take around VND25.2 trillion (US$1.1 billion) to buy sufficient jabs and inoculate the whole population, which in no doubt will further strain the already tightened state budget due to the effect of the pandemic. The Ministry of Finance said that it managed to allocate more than VND14 trillion ($608.9 million). That means it is still VND11.2 trillion ($487.1 million) short.
Voluntary contributions: A creative way to fight COVID-19
To finance the country’s vaccine procurement, Viet Nam officially launched a public fund on June 5, 2021. The COVID-19 Vaccine Fund is a rightful initiative of Vietnamese Government to mobilise all resources available for the fight against the pandemic.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has said that it is a fund of kindness, solidarity, faith, and from heart to heart to together overcome adversities and let Viet Nam triumph over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kidong Park, WHO representative in Viet Nam, said the mobilisation of resources to improve access to COVID-19 vaccines of the Vietnamese Government was made in a timely manner and in line with the global vaccine initiative.
The United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam Kamal Malhotra said this was a good initiative which had been supported by the UN for months.
Several channels including bank transfer and an official website for the National COVID-19 Vaccine Fund have been introduced to receive donations from individuals, businesses and organisations in Viet Nam and abroad.
The fund is expected to ease the strain on the somewhat limited state budget, financially backing up Vietnamese to import, research, manufacture and distribute the vaccines.
Every contribution matters
According to the Ministry of Finance, the fund has received more than VND4.79 trillion ($208.3 million) as of June 12, just a week after launching, highlighting the government’s move to mobilise vaccine funding from the private sector.
“The Ministry of Finance has planned more than VND14 trillion ($608.9 million) for the COVID-19 fight, of which VND11 trillion ($478.4 million) will soon be disbursed. Plus contributions from individuals, organisations and businesses in Viet Nam and abroad, the total amount we have now is fair to middling. This is key to the vaccine import and vaccine rollout for the citizens,” Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc said.
Those who wish to contribute to the fight against the pandemic can visit the website at https://quyvacxincovid19.gov.vn/ to make donations publicly or anonymously via international credit cards, ATM cards, e-wallets, Internet banking, and mobile banking. All contributions via the website will be transferred directly to the fund’s bank account.
Contributors can opt to donate to the general vaccine fund or a specific province, city, agency or organisation. They can also send supporting messages to relatives, friends, or the frontline workers. Benefactors will receive a digital donation certificate following a successful donation.
Diverse ways of contributions to the fund allows flexibility for the benefactors to help Viet Nam conquer the pandemic. — VNS