Vietnam to procure 50-150 million Russian COVID-19 vaccines

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Aug 14 (efe-epa).- Vietnam will acquire between 50 and 150 million doses of the “Sputnik V” vaccine against COVID-19 that Russia is developing, while it continues to carry out its own investigations, the country’s media reported Friday.

Vietnamese Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long announced the decision Friday during a meeting of the special virus management committee, after the Russian embassy in Vietnam offered medical equipment and the vaccine. Russia plans to start producing it in two weeks, according to local Vietnamese paper Tuoi Tre.

At the moment, it is unknown how many doses of Sputnik V Vietnam will order, when it will be able to receive them and the price of them, but it is expected that Russia will donate a part. The Vietnamese Ministry of Health announced that it would continue working on the development of its own vaccine, according to state television reports.

The Philippines, for its part, announced Thursday that clinical trials of the vaccine will begin in October simultaneously with Russia.

Vietnam, which seemed to have the pandemic under control after almost 100 days without detecting local infections or deaths from COVID-19 thanks to strict early containment measures, announced on Jul. 25 a community contagion in the city of Danang. Since then, new cases have multiplied and currently, 911 infections and 21 deaths have been registered.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that his country had become the first in the world to produce a vaccine against COVID-19, which was licensed by the Ministry of Health under the name GAM-COVID-Vac.

The Kremlin chief stated that one of his daughters had already undergone vaccine treatment, which he described as “effective” and capable of creating a “stable immunity” and announced that it would be named in honor of the world’s first satellite, put into orbit by the Soviet Union in 1957.

Russian authorities hope to begin the immunization of members of risk groups – first of all, health workers – at the end of August or beginning of September, while the rest of the citizens will be able to gain access to the vaccine as of Jan. 1

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) cautiously received the news of the vaccine against COVID-19, and indicated that it must follow the prequalification and review procedures established by the agency. EFE-EPA


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