Vietnam is expected to secure 90 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in 2021 and has already announced a list of target groups eligible to receive the first available shots.
The Southeast Asian country received its first COVID-19 vaccine shipment on February 24 – a batch of 117,600 doses of COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company, and the University of Oxford.
The Ministry of Health said last week that the country aims to obtain 90 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of the year, including 30 million through the COVAX scheme co-led by WHO, 30 million through AstraZeneca, and the rest through negotiations with U.S. producers.
Talks were also taking place to secure Russia’s Sputnik V jab, the ministry added.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has requested the Ministry of Health to begin COVID-19 vaccination for prioritized groups by the end of this week.
As soon as the proper logistics are in place, vaccinations will be rolled out in provinces and cities with ongoing pandemic outbreaks, urban areas with large populations, and important transport hubs.
Health workers and employees of steering committees for COVID-19 prevention and control in these localities will be among the first to be immunized.
Vietnam is also developing four COVID-19 vaccines on its own.
Among them, Nanocovax, developed by Ho Chi Minh City-based Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, entered its second phase of human trials on February 26.
According to Resolution No. 21 issued by the central government on February 26, the target groups prioritized to receive COVID-19 vaccinations are:
– Frontline workers (health workers, staff members of all-level steering committees for COVID-19 responses, employees of quarantine facilities, and reporters, among others)
– Diplomats, customs officers, and export-import officers
– Military forces
– Public security forces
– People aged above 65
– Those who work in essential service sectors including aviation, transport, tourism, and utility services
– People with chronic illnesses
– People who must travel abroad for work or study
– Residents in pandemic-hit areas