At the reception (Photo:

He made the compliment when he was received by Vietnamese Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long on January 10.

At the meeting, Minister Nguyen Thanh Long expressed his pleasure to welcome and meet Dr. Takeshi Kasai, a close friend of the Vietnamese health sector. The minister also expressed his gratitude to WHO and Dr. Takeshi Kasai personally, and other colleagues at WHO, who have devoted much attention and support to the health care work for the Vietnamese people over the years.

Especially in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO plays an important role in planning policies and strategies, as well as implementing measures to prevent and control the pandemic.

"We thank WHO for its efforts to mobilize countries to support vaccines for Vietnam through the COVAX mechanism. Those supports are of great significance, helping Vietnam to access vaccines, and it has achieved many results in the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 and is one of the countries with the fastest injection speed in the world," said the minister.

According to Minister Long, up to now, the coverage of COVID-19 vaccine for people over 18 years old in Vietnam is very high, with nearly 100% receiving the first dose and more than 92% receiving the second dose. “We also accelerate the progress of vaccination against COVID-19 for people of the prescribed age, striving by the end of the first quarter of 2021 to complete the 3rd injection for those over 18 years old,” he said.

Regarding vaccination for children aged 12-17, more than half of provinces and cities across the country have administered 2 doses of vaccine for this group. Vietnam is also waiting for WHO recommendations and guidelines for vaccinations for children aged 5-12.

In addition to the support in pandemic prevention, Vietnam highly appreciates the cooperation and support of WHO in other health areas such as strengthening the health system, preventing non-communicable diseases and other infectious diseases, elderly health, maternal and child health, environmental health, climate change, as well as promoting Vietnam's integration in global health issues, communication and medical materials and equipment.

“Vietnam hopes that WHO will continue to support Vietnam to improve the capacity of the health system, especially in disease prevention, because in 2022, Vietnam identifies pandemic prevention as a priority focus,” said Minister Long. “It also expects that WHO will continue to support Vietnam in the assessment, testing and licensing of vaccines as well as drugs to treat COVID-19 patients; as well as in research and technology transfer for the production of vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the Western Pacific region Takeshi Kasai congratulated Vietnam on achieving high results in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, as well as in fast access to vaccines compared to other countries in the world.

He also congratulated Vietnam on changing its orientation to a safe and flexible coexistence with the COVID-19 pandemic.

He affirmed that WHO will continue to accompany Vietnam in pandemic prevention; in training, improving the capacity of health human resources; as well as in issues related to vaccines in general, and vaccines against COVID-19 in particular./.

Compiled by BTA