Vietnam has registered to buy 50-150 million doses of Russian Covid-19 vaccine, just days after Russia approved a vaccine called Sputnik V, Tuoi Tre online reported, citing the Ministry of Health.
Russia said on August 11 that it would roll out the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine within two weeks, rejecting the concern of experts who said it should not have been approved without completing large-scale trials.
|A medical specialist wearing a protective suit collects a swab sample from a traveler who has returned from the Covid-19 epicenter of Danang. Photo: Reuters|
The Russian Embassy in Vietnam has sent a document to the Vietnamese government expressing intention to donate a number of machines, biological products and equipment for Covid-19 prevention in Vietnam, including the above-mentioned vaccine.
Representatives of Vietnam and Russia exchanged about the quantity of vaccines that Vietnam could order which will be in the range of 50-150 million doses, of which some will be a donation from Russia and the rest will be paid, Tuoi Tre said.
Vietnam’s health ministry did not state when the vaccine acquisition is undertaken, or its price.
The head of the Board of Directors of R-Pharm company, Alexey Repik, said that the export price of the Russian Covid-19 vaccine is at least US$10 for two doses.
The first batch of the vaccines could be quite expensive, Repik said. However, he noted that the vaccines will become cheaper when the production reaches the industrial scale.
CNN quoted Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), as saying that the Russian Covid-19 vaccine will gradually be administered to people in the high-risk group before wide spread injections for Russians in October 2020.
Kirill Dmitriev stressed that safety is at the heart of vaccines and if the technology works, Russia will release the data in August and September to prove it.
Besides the Russian vaccine, Vietnam has also registered to acquire vaccines produced by the UK and contacted producers of the US and other countries.
Vietnamese media quoted the director of Program of Development of Vaccines for Humans under Vietnam's Ministry of Health as saying that Vietnam expects domestically-produced Covid-19 vaccines will be ready for use by the end of 2021.
So far, Vietnam has reported a total of 911 infections, with 21 deaths. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said the risk of wider contagion is very high, and that the next few days are critical.
Vietnam was lauded for suppressing an earlier outbreak contagion through aggressive testing, contact-tracing and quarantining, but it is now racing to control infections in multiple locations linked to the beach city of Danang, where a new outbreak was detected on July 25.