Flowers and Long met in Hanoi to expedite the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to Vietnam amid the fourth coronavirus wave.
Minister Long said Vietnam is battling the highly transmissible Delta variant of coronavirus and several decisive measures have been put in place to control the situation, including more talks with foreign manufacturers and partners for more COVID-19 vaccines and facilitating local development of home-grown vaccines.
One of Vietnam’s priorities now is to soon have enough COVID-19 vaccines for mass inoculation, he said, reiterating the request for UNICEF to work with COVAX to speed up delivery of vaccines to Vietnam in the third quarter, and the country’s commitment to using the vaccines in a fair and effective manner.
Flowers, for her part, cited a survey conducted by UNICEF and its partners found that about 67 percent of Vietnamese respondents said they are ready to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, which is quite high.
She shared concerns over the complicated developments of the current fourth wave in the country. She said that 1,910 high-capacity cold chain fridges to store vaccines – supported by Australia’s aid to Vietnam – will be delivered to Vietnam by UNICEF in late July.
UNICEF has also ordered five refrigerated trucks for transportation of vaccines and the shipment will arrive in August and September, along with some 5 million syringes via air routes.
Regarding expediting COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Vietnam via the COVAX Facility, the UNICEF official remarked that the following batch would be delivered as soon as it is approved by the World Health Organisation, scheduled for July.
UNICEF has delivered some 2.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to Vietnam from COVAX out of the commitment of nearly 39 million doses.