Vietnam is aiming to import 150m vaccine doses this year © AFP/Getty Images
Vietnam is aiming to import 150m vaccine doses this year © AFP/Getty Images

Vietnam calls for 'all possible measures' to procure vaccines

2 June 2021

The Vietnamese government has said “all possible measures” should be taken to procure vaccines after cases doubled in a month.

Deputy prime minister Vu Duc Dam said any vaccine that had been licensed by the WHO could be imported, even if it had not been licensed yet in Vietnam.

Vietnam has so far approved AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines.

Dam said even if vaccines had not been licensed by the WHO, the government would license them within five days, provided they were in use by other countries and one of Vietnam’s 27 vaccine-importing companies could source a supply of them.

State news agency VNA said the government was aiming to import 150m vaccine doses this year. Mass vaccination has still not started in Vietnam, which initially appeared to shrug off the pandemic – having recorded just 47 deaths. 

The government has banned international flights into Hanoi until 7 June, following a similar move by Ho Chi Minh City.

Other measures in place include bans on dine-in restaurants and public gatherings of more than 10 people.

Minister of health Nguyen Thanh Long encouraged “all capable localities and businesses to join hands in importing the vaccines”.

Vietnam has also contacted foreign countries including the US for help with procuring vaccines.

“There must be measures to secure the vaccines at the earliest,” Vu told a cabinet meeting. “All hurdles must be lifted, and all related issues must be addressed.”

Vietnam has also asked companies such as Apple and Samsung for help in sourcing vaccines for employees, Bloomberg News reported.

Bloomberg also said authorities in Bac Ninh had ordered factories to set up on-site sleeping arrangements for workers to contain the spread of the virus while keeping operations running.

About one million people, or 1% of the population, is estimated to have received a first vaccine dose.

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