Ha Noi, 14 September 2021 – Viet Nam received today 672,000 doses of Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine donated by the Government of France and 812,060 doses of Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine donated by the Government of Italy, both through the COVAX Facility.
“With this donation, France is demonstrating its solidarity with Viet Nam through these difficult times: we stand together with the people of Viet Nam, as the country is facing a severe epidemic wave, by supporting vaccination efforts launched by the authorities” said Ambassador of France, Nicolas Warnery. "This support is in line with the longstanding and successful cooperation between France and Viet Nam in the medical field”.
Ambassador Nicolas Warnery added that "vaccination is the only way out of this crisis. That is why France is committed to share 60 million doses in 2021, in addition to its financial contributions to the COVAX program, in order to accelerate vaccination efforts worldwide. More broadly, France has been a major supporter to the ACT-A initiative which provides universal access to tests and treatments to fight COVID 19”.
“In the spirit of the strategic partnership and sincere friendship that links Italy and Viet Nam”, said Ambassador of Italy, Antonio Alessandro, “Italy stands close to the Vietnamese Government and people in the fight against Covid-19”.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic”, he added, “Italy has been among the first countries to support the importance of equal and universal access to vaccines, treatments and tests for COVID-19, based on a principle of international solidarity according to which no one will be safe until everyone is safe. For these reasons, Italy supported the creation of ACT-Accelerator and the Global COVAX Facility, of which is one of its largest financial donors. Furthermore, on the occasion of the Global Health Summit promoted by the Italian G20 Presidency, Italy committed to donate 15 million doses to low and middle income countries, starting from those most in need, including Vietnam”.
French and Italian contributions add to the #TeamEurope (European Union and its Member States) support to help Viet Nam fight the pandemic: #TeamEurope is the 2nd biggest donor to COVAX, with USD 2,8 billion. An EU budget support grant of EUR 19 million was transferred in 2020 to the State Treasury of Viet Nam to provide additional fiscal space to implement relief policies. Many other EU and bilateral programs, including from Italy and France, are dedicated to support Public Health and Medical Research & Innovation in Viet Nam.
Speaking at the handover ceremony held in Hanoi today, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung expressed the appreciation for the donations of the Governments of France and Italy as well as for the support of COVAX in delivering the vaccines to the country. Vice Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan highlighted that Viet Nam would use the vaccines timely and effectively.
Viet Nam is experiencing the largest and most severe COVID-19 outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic. The Government has been taking strong measures to control the spread of coronavirus, including speeding up vaccination for its population, especially those living in the epicenters.
“We are grateful to the Governments and peoples of France and Italy for sending additional doses of vaccine through the COVAX Facility”, says Dr Kidong Park, United Nations Resident Coordinator ad interim and the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in Viet Nam. “As we get more vaccines for the country, it is critical for the Government to provide vaccines strategically to the people who need it the most, based on priorities. This means protecting health care workers and frontline workers, the elderly, people with co-morbidities and those who are at highest risk of severe diseases or deaths.”
“UNICEF welcome the donations of COVID-19 vaccines by the Governments of France and Italy through the COVAX dose-sharing mechanism, which allows well-supplied countries to share vaccine doses with other countries to help protect the most at-risk populations globally”, said Lesley Miller, UNICEF Deputy Representative. “Equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines represents the clearest pathway out of this pandemic for all of us — children included, and these donations are an important step in this direction”
With the delivery of vaccines donated by the Government of France and Italy, Viet Nam has received 11,725,630 doses of COVID-19 vaccines via the COVAX Facility. The COVAX Facility is co-led by WHO, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI), GAVI - the Vaccine Alliance, and UNICEF as a key delivery partner.
To date, over 29 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Viet Nam, among them over five million second doses. The additional vaccines will help the Ministry of Health to expand coverage and reach more people from priority groups, including the elderly and those with underlying conditions, contributing to attaining the country’s target of vaccinating more than 70 per cent of population by the end of the first quarter of 2022.
While the continuous arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility is encouraging, it will take some time for every priority group to be vaccinated. Thus, it is essential to continue 5K practices to reduce virus transmission: wear face masks, wash hands regularly, practice physical distancing, stop gathering and fill out health declaration.