Vietnam says agrees tech transfers on Russian, US Covid vaccines

Vietnam says agrees tech transfers on Russian, US Covid vaccines

A man (centre) exercises besides a hoarding urging the public to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus in Hanoi on Monday. (AFP photo)
A man (centre) exercises besides a hoarding urging the public to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus in Hanoi on Monday. (AFP photo)

HANOI: Vietnam has reached agreements on technology transfers for Russian and US coronavirus vaccines, the government said in a statement, without elaborating.

Vietnam is keen to boost its vaccine capacity and the World Health Organization said in May it was reviewing a proposal by an unidentified manufacturer in Vietnam to become an mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine technology hub.

Vietnam's health ministry was also in talks with Russia to produce the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, media has reported.

Tuesday's statement also said Vietnam will receive 20 million more doses of the mRNA shot co-developed by US company Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech, raising the total to 51 million doses.

After successfully containing the virus for much of the pandemic, Vietnam is facing its worst outbreak so far, with a surge in daily infections to record levels adding to pressure on the government to shore up supplies and accelerate inoculations.

Up to now, Vietnam has secured deals for 105 million doses of vaccines and is in talks with other manufacturers on deals for a further 70 million shots, the government said, adding it hoped to receive the shots in 2021 and early 2022.

The Southeast Asian country has received around 10.6 million doses of vaccines, and is due to receive supplies of Moderna's vaccine from the United States via the Covax facility.

Vietnam has also asked China for doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, the government statement added.

Vietnam's health ministry said the country's home-grown vaccine, NanoCovax, was expected to be widely administered by the end of 2021.

To date around 4.3 million doses have been administered, but only about 310,000 people have been fully vaccinated out of a population of 98 million. 

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