The Australian Embassy and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) have announced an assistance worth US$10.5 million to support Covid-19 vaccine delivery in Vietnam, ensuring the country’s expanded immunization program.
Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie said at a press conference in Hanoi on April 19 that her country will explore options to procure vaccines to support Vietnam.
Some of those vaccines in due course are likely to be manufactured in Australia and the Australian government expects some of the homemade vaccines will be part of the country's contribution to Vietnam, according to the ambassador.
Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie (middle) poses with other representatives at the press conference. Photo: Australian Embassy
Mudie said the support will help Vietnam purchase cold chain equipment to store and transport vaccine doses to areas in need.
It is also intended to fund training courses and materials for Vietnam's health workers and officials and developing immunization in remote provinces to ensure equitable and uniform vaccine coverage.
Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative in Vietnam, said introducing a new vaccine, especially for Covid-19, was a colossal task for any government with many important steps involved.
Thanks to the partnership with the Australian government, UNICEF has committed to working with Vietnam’s health ministry and other partners vaccinate the prioritized 20% of population in the country by late 2022.
“No one is safe until everyone is safe, so mass vaccination against Covid-19 is an important step to contain the pandemic, protect frontline workers who serve children and for Vietnam to reopen to the rest of the world,” Rana Flowers stressed.
Funding for the program is drawn from US$404 million regional Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative, as well as from Australia’s bilateral development cooperation program with Vietnam.
In total, Australia has committed US$31 million over three years to support Vietnam’s vaccine procurement and delivery efforts.
In the coming months, Australia will liaise with the Ministry of Health to set up vaccination roll-out plan in Vietnam, Ambassador Mudie said.