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Vietnam Is Negotiating to Secure 30m Doses of the UK's Covid-19 Vaccine

We are ready and waiting.

VnExpress reports that the Ministry of Health is negotiating with AstraZeneca and Oxford University to buy 30 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine that the two British organizations have jointly developed.

At a government meeting on Monday, Deputy Health Minister Trương Quốc Cường said: "We're closest to an agreement with AstraZeneca to guarantee supply of 30 million doses of vaccine between the first and fourth quarters of 2021."

This would allow for the vaccination of 15 million people, as two doses are required to complete the vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine has gained favor among developing countries, as it is less expensive than the Pfizer vaccine and doesn't require extremely cold storage facilities.

The health ministry is also in talks with Pfizer, as well as Russia about its Sputnik V vaccine and China about its domestic vaccine, but no further details have been made available.

The news source adds that Vietnam is also eligible to buy COVID-19 vaccines through the Covax program, a World Health Organization mechanism aimed at providing affordable vaccines to less wealthy countries. Covax currently plans to provide two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines globally by the end of 2021, including enough for Vietnam to inoculate 15.6 million people.

In terms of domestic vaccine development, the Saigon-based company Nanogen is currently in the first stage of human trials for its Nanocovax vaccine, while the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals expects to begin human trials of its Covivac vaccine this month.

[Top photo via Channel 4]