Delivery of first COVID-19 vaccine shipment from COVAX Facility delayed hinh anh 1The first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX Facility cannot be delivered to Vietnam as originally planned. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX Facility cannot be delivered to Vietnam as planned in late March as producers are expanding and optimising production process, the Ministry of Health’s Department of Preventive Medicine has said.

Some 811,200 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine doses, fewer than the original plan of 1.1 million doses, are scheduled to arrive in the country in the next three weeks.

Around 3 million more doses will be arriving by the end of May, pending operational and supply constraints, according to a statement from UNICEF Vietnam.

On March 23, Vietnam approved Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use against COVID-19, the second approved in the Southeast Asian county after the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The Ministry of Health and vaccine suppliers have worked with Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna for COVID-19 vaccine procurement, however, they have not informed their ability to supply vaccines in 2021.

Additionally, the country is also banking on homegrown COVID-19 vaccines, not only to serve the domestic demands but also to export the surplus to other nations.

The front-runner among the three currently being developed in the country, NanoCovax by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, is undergoing second phase of human trials, with results expected in May.

The third and final phase of human trials is scheduled to take place around May to September, and registration for circulation will be pushed forward to September, three months earlier than planned.

Vietnam started its national COVID-19 vaccination drive earlier this month with 117,000 doses bought commercially from AstraZeneca with frontline workers first in line to receive the jabs.

COVAX Facility is a global mechanism for the development, manufacture and procurement of COVID-19 candidate vaccines, facilitating and supporting member countries to access vaccines as they become available./.