Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Aug 24 (EFE).- Vietnamese authorities announced on Tuesday that Cuba had pledged to supply a large number of anti-Covid vaccines to the Asian country this year, apart from transferring technology to produce the serums locally.
In an article on its website, the Vietnamese government said that the offer was made during a telephonic conversation on Monday between President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Cuban counterpart Miguel Diaz-Canel.
The Cuban leader said, without specifying the numbers, that he would send a large quantity of the Abdala vaccine to Vietnam by the end of the year, and that Havana was ready to transfer the technology to produce the antidote in the Asian country.
Abdala, developed by Cuba’s Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, has an efficiency of 92.2 percent after three doses according to the final phase trial data released by Cuban authorities.
Diaz-Canel also thanked his Vietnamese counterpart for sending shipments of rice to help the Cuban population affected by the pandemic, which has resulted in over 500,000 infections and around 4,600 deaths on the island.
The pandemic has also wreaked havoc in Vietnam, although the country had managed to escape major damage by Covid-19 until April thanks to a timely and strict response.
The Delta variant of the coronavirus has recently triggered a virulent wave of infections in Vietnam, which has witnessed over 10,000 daily cases for a week, with total number of cases going past 358,000 and the death toll crossing 8,600.
Strict restrictions remain in place in the country, especially in the largest metro, Ho Chi Minh City.
The supply of Cuban vaccines could help boost the slow vaccination drive in Vietnam, where only 13.85 percent of the population has so far received at least one vaccine dose and just 1.84 percent of the people have been fully vaccinated, according to the website Our World in Data. EFE