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Saturday, June 19, 2021

HCMC negotiates to buy five million doses of Covid-19 vaccine

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HCMC – The authorities of HCMC, which is coping with a hike in Covid-19 cases, have negotiated a deal for purchasing five million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine and expected to get the shipment in the beginning of the third quarter, said a local health official.

Speaking at a meeting chaired by the city’s chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong today, June 11, a representative of the HCMC Department of Health said that the health sector, the municipal government and the relevant agencies over the past ten days had worked with various Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers and distributors. Of them, one agreed to provide the city with five million doses of the vaccine.

The representative added that the final task before signing a deal to get the vaccine is to wait for the Health Ministry’s appraisal for the city’s super-cold freezer to store the vaccine. Further, efforts to store the vaccine would be challenging.

The city’s Health Department is also seeking more vaccine suppliers but getting access to Covid-19 vaccines is not easy at all, the representative added.

In addition, the city was given around 170,000 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine distributed by the Government that it can offer to some 65,000 people. With the limited source of the vaccine, the city prioritized vaccinating the frontliners, and those working at quarantine areas at airports, seaports, and in the transport sector.

At the meeting, Vo Van Hoan, vice chairman of the municipal government, said that there remain obstacles in seeking Covid-19 vaccine supplies and determining the demand for the vaccine.

Hoan suggested the Health Department take measures to look for more vaccine supplies and map out a vaccination plan for local residents concurrently.

The department should have plans requesting residents citywide to declare their health status first. Through their health declarations, the department would classify them according to professions, health to make lists of priority groups, Hoan added.

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