23 February 2021 the first batch of 117,600 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine arrived in HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat Airport in the morning.
Vietnam Vaccine JSC (VNVC) said it had signed the deal for importing the batch with AstraZeneca last November, without revealing further details pleading security conditions the British-Swedish firm has imposed.
The import of the first batch was advanced following a new outbreak in late January that has spread to 13 cities and provinces.
According to VNExpress, last week the Health Ministry approved the import of 204,000 doses within this month. Vietnam has ordered 30 million doses from AstraZeneca.
It is not yet clear who will get the doses that have arrived, but the ministry had said earlier that frontline Covid-19 workers, teachers and people working in aviation and tourism will be among the first to get vaccinated.
The government has waived duties and the vaccines will get priority clearance to make sure they reach VNVC as fast as possible. The company has set up cold storage units in HCMC, Da Nang and Hanoi to store three million doses at a time.
Covax, a global mechanism for developing, manufacturing and procuring Covid-19 vaccine candidates that help member countries access vaccines as they become available, has pledged to provide Vietnam with 4.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the first half.
Around 33 million doses will arrive in the second half of this year.
It is stepping up negotiations with the U.S.’s Pfizer and Moderna, along with other vaccine manufacturers in Russia and some other countries to ensure it can get a total of 150 million doses in 2021, to cover 70 percent of its 98-million population.
Four indigenous vaccines are under development by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, Vaccine and Biological Production Company No. 1, and the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals.
On 24 February 2021, the first batch of Covid-19 vaccine also landed in Thailand. Originally the AstraZeneca vaccine were planned to arrive by June but the earlier arrival will assist the country with the new wave of virus spreading.
Dr Nakorn Premsri, Director if National Vaccination Institute said ” the first 117,600 dose from AstraZeneca is well received. Although faster than original plan. With this arrival, it will help save and ease the latest virus spreading domestically.
Thailand’s Department of Disese Control by Ministry of Health agreed with Siam Bioscience with 61 million dose that will be delivering in batches from June 2021. In order to relieve the latest virus spreading in January, the first batch are delivered now to assist Thailand front liners in combating the virus and get back on their feet soonest. This first batch comes from AstraZeneca’s global plants and is part of AstraZeneca’s believe in not leaving anyone behind.
The first batch will be given to our front liners who are working closely to infected patients and relieve risk of death to population in infected areas.”
Dr Nakorn also added “It still yet to be approve of quality and ‘Lot Release’ information need to be supervise by Department of Medical Science before the first injection can be done.”
On 20 January 2021 AstraZeneca vaccine was approved by Thailand Food and Drugs Administration, for emergency use to enhance immune system to population of 18 years and older. Which was the first of the kind to be approve in Thailand and 50 more countries started to follow suit.
On 15 February 2021AstraZeneca vaccine got approved in Emergency Use Listing (EUL) by WHO experts.
The EUL approval is in line with WHO to be able to assist all countries in need of vaccination. In some countries may lack medical supplies. So far AstraZeneca vaccine has not show any negative or major side effect after vaccination.
Dr. Nakorn added “One more important fact to consider is, with current study, there’s no prove of vaccine that help stop virus spreading or infection. To be vaccinate can enhance your immune system and or ease the effect when infected. It is still highly recommend to continue safety practice of keeping distance and keep your face mask on.”