Vietnam's top priority now is to secure enough doses of vaccine for 75 million people this year, as well as additional doses for the coming years.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh talks with scientists and businesses at a meeting to discuss the development and production of COVID-19 vaccines in Vietnam
The Government will do its best to support the development and production of a COVID-19 vaccine, said Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at a meeting on Monday with scientists and business leaders in Ha Noi.
After initial success in stopping the virus from spreading widely, Vietnam's top priority now is to secure enough doses of vaccine for 75 million people this year, as well as additional doses for the coming years, said the PM, adding that vaccination is the only sustainable solution to deal with the coronavirus.
Deputy PM and head of the National Committee on COVID-19 Prevention Vu Duc Dam, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long and Minister of Science and Technology Huynh Thanh Dat also attended the meeting.
Given the limited supply of vaccines globally, Vietnam must start looking for ways to acquire the technology and produce COVID-19 vaccines within the country.
According to the Ministry of Health, domestic COVID-19 vaccine candidates made by Nanocovax and COVIVAC have entered the clinical trial phase.
Domestic production capacity is said to be able to supply the country with 30 to 40 million doses a year, which could be increased with further investment in infrastructure. There have also been talks between Vietnamese firms and international pharmaceutical groups to secure technology to boost production capacity to up to 300 million doses a year.
The PM stressed the importance of securing the vaccines, saying businesses must not view vaccines as a matter of profit and loss but as the country's highest priority. He ordered heads of Government offices to quickly identify issues related to legal frameworks, cut red tape and come up with solutions to speed up the procurement and development of vaccines.
The Government will offer incentive programmes for scientists and firms in the development of vaccines. The Ministry of Science and Technology was asked to quickly establish a framework to protect key intellectual properties in vaccine development while the Ministry of Finance was tasked with coming up with a reasonable price proposal for when the vaccines were made available.