Vietnam seeks to diversify Covid-19 vaccine sources amid supply issues

Clay Curtis
March 25, 2021

On February this year, a Chinese military cargo plane delivered 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines in the Philippines. The vaccines were the second batch of Chinese donation to the Philippines.

"The arrival of these vaccines could not have occurred at a more opportune time considering the continued rise in cases, which in turn increases the need to inoculate more high-risk individuals as soon as possible", Duque said in a news release.

The government has previously said it would acquire a total of 150 million vaccine doses, through direct purchases from producers and via the Covax vaccine-sharing scheme. China is the first country to provide COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines, allowing the Southeast Asian country to kick off its vaccination program.

Sinovac Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine appears to be safe and able to trigger immune responses among children and adolescents, according to preliminary results from early and mid-stage trials, the company said late on Monday. It has recorded 2,576 Covid-19 infections and 35 deaths due to the disease. Metro Manila, however, has only used close to 60 percent of its 1st dose allocations The second dose for the Sinovac vaccine should be administered after four weeks, while AstraZeneca should be between one to three months later.

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The private sector and local governments were able to secure about 17 million doses of AstraZeneca through a tripartite agreement with the national government and the manufacturer.

"The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) had been in communication with various companies including AstraZeneca on their submission plans for Covid-19 vaccines", the authority said in a statement, adding that all vaccines are rigorously evaluated.

Duque underscored the need to maintain the growing confidence for the CoronaVac vaccines, which he said has "improved tremendously" since the first batch's arrival.

Seven laboratories failed to submit their data on March 23, it said.

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