USAID and CDC commit continued support for Vietnam’s fight against COVID-19

Thursday, 05/08/2021 16:38
Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has suggested that the representatives of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) consider accelerating the process of supplying Pfizer vaccine to Vietnam as soon as possible, helping to speed up vaccination rates for the Vietnamese population.

Vietnamese locality, USAID increase cooperation

Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has just had two discussions with representatives of USAID and the US Center for Disease Control (CDC).

At the meeting with USAID, the Minister of Health thanked the US Government for its support through USAID, providing Vietnam with equipment and budget for pandemic prevention and more than 5 million doses of Moderna vaccine through COVAX. However, in the context of the complicated development of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the rapid and strong spread of the Delta variant, Vietnam urgently needs more vaccine supply.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has 2 discussions with representatives of USAID and CDC. (Photo: VGP)

According to the minister, Vietnam has signed a contract to buy 31 million doses of Pfizer vaccine and is in the process of buying another 20 million doses. However, only in the fourth quarter of 2021 will 47 million doses of Pfizer vaccine be delivered to Vietnam. Therefore, the Minister suggested that USAID take early action to speed up the delivery of Pfizer vaccine to Vietnam as soon as possible, helping to raise the vaccination rate for the Vietnamese people.

The USAID representative highly appreciated the close cooperation between the organization and the Vietnamese Ministry of Health over the past time. The US Government has completed a contract with Pfizer and pledged to provide 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to advance the global vaccination effort. USAID will try to lobby for the US Government to prioritize Pfizer vaccine aid to Vietnam as soon as possible.

The US Government has also agreed to provide Vietnam with USD4.5 million to support vaccination implementation and capacity building of the health system for the fight against COVID-19, according to the USAID representative.

With thanks to the US Government's support of USD4.5 million, Minister Nguyen Thanh Long hoped that USAID would continue to lobby the US Government so that Vietnam could receive more vaccine aid in August and September, because this is a priority issue to cope with the complicated situation of the COVID-19 pandemic and the serious shortage of vaccine resources in Vietnam.

The minister also proposed that USAID continue to advocate for the US to support Vietnam with high-functioning ventilators to treat severe and critical COVID-19 patients and to support more deep freezers (-75 degrees Celsius) to preserve vaccine, as well as oxygen tanks and ancillary equipment.

According to USAID, 77 deep freezers are expected to arrive in Vietnam in early September. This is the number of deep freezers announced by the US Secretary of Defense during his visit to Vietnam in July.

The USAID representative acknowledged the proposals from Vietnam and pledged to continue to discuss with the departments and functional departments of the Ministry of Health to summarize the needs and consider the aid as soon as possible.

At the meeting with the Director of the US CDC in Vietnam, with the desire to have more access to the vaccine, the Minister of Health expressed his wish that the US CDC would suggest the US government give priority to Vietnam to soon access more COVID-19 vaccines in the context that the disease continues to spread and access to vaccines is still limited.

The increase in the number of cases puts great pressure on the health system, overloading the intensive care system. The Ministry of Health has been setting up large intensive care units in Ho Chi Minh City and some southern provinces. The Ministry of Health wants the US CDC to help Vietnam with ventilators and equipment to actively treat serious patients, helping to limit deaths from COVID-19.

Assessing that Vietnam's vaccination rate has recently increased rapidly, a representative of the US CDC said, this is an important basis for this agency to promote and mobilize other organizations to support Vietnam to have more vaccines.

The US CDC representative also affirmed that it would be ready to coordinate with agencies of the Ministry of Health in exchanging techniques and sharing information and experiences in pandemic prevention./.

Compiled by BTA