After arriving in Vietnam, a shipment of over 1.3 million jabs of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has been handed over to the Ministry of Health to continue feeding the country's accelerated immunization campaign.
The ministry received 1,317,500 vaccine doses from the Vietnam Vaccine Joint Stock Company (VNVC) on Monday, as part of the 30-million-dose contract signed between VNVC and the manufacturer in late 2020.
The latest shipment, which arrived in Ho Chi Minh City last Friday, has taken the total number of vaccine doses delivered to Vietnam from this source to nearly 15 million, including five million this month.
VNVC has previously agreed to hand over all the vaccine doses under this contract to the ministry on a non-profit basis and pay all relevant expenses, including that on vaccine storage.
To date, the country has received more than 54 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from different sources, including COVAX Facility, contract purchases, and donations.
This vaccine volume accounts for 36 percent of the country's target to secure 150 million doses to vaccinate two-thirds of its 98-million population.
The government has approved the purchase of more than 51 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, over 30 million AstraZeneca jabs, and 10 million Cuban-made shots, among others.
The health ministry has approved eight COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use in the country, namely the UK's AstraZeneca, China's Sinopharm, Russia's Sputnik V, the UAE's Hayat-Vax, Cuba's Abdala, and three U.S. products including Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
Meanwhile, Vietnam's Nano Covax vaccine, after some successful trials, is undergoing further steps to be licensed for emergency use as the first made-in-Vietnam COVID-19 vaccine.
The country is speeding up COVID-19 vaccination as part of the preparations for recovering its socio-economic operations after months of lockdown.
So far, over 30.42 million first shots and some 7.94 million second jabs have been administered to people nationwide, according to the ministry's data.
Since the pandemic hit Vietnam in early 2020, the Southeast Asian nation has documented 756,689 coronavirus infections, ranking 44th among 222 countries and territories in the world.
The country has also recorded 527,926 COVID-19 recoveries and 18,584 deaths, which is equivalent to around 2.5 percent of the tally of patients, or 0.4 percentage points above the global mortality rate.
Except Cao Bang, the coronavirus has spread to 62 out of its 63 cities and provinces, with Ho Chi Minh City topping the list with 372,180 infection cases and 14,379 fatalities.
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