Diplomatic efforts taken to bring COVID-19 vaccine to Vietnam hinh anh 1At a meeting between representatives of UNICEF and Ministry of Health (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Diplomatic channels have been optimised to seek COVID-19 vaccine supply sources around the world in the hope of increasing the rate of vaccinated people, thus pushing back the pandemic soon.

Amid a shortage of vaccine supply in the world and complicated developments of the pandemic at home, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has underscored that Vietnam should do its utmost to get COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible.

According to the Ministry of Health, so far, more than 62,000 people in Vietnam have received COVID-19 vaccine shots, equivalent to less than 1 percent of the country’s population, far below the target of administering at least 150 million vaccine doses to local people.

The seeking and negotiations on COVID-19 supplies is considered the top priority at present, said the minister, stressing the need for all relevant ministries and sectors, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to work harder for it.

At a recent national teleconference on COVID-19 prevention and control, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh asked for continuing the steadfast spirit of “fighting the pandemic is like fighting the enemy,” thus promptly controling COVID-19, stabilising the situation and recovering production and business activities.

Among 11 major tasks and solutions in pandemic prevention and control, the PM underlined the implementation of the vaccine strategy with specific requirements being speeding up the seeking for more COVID-19 vaccine sources and the research and production of domestically-made vaccines, and approaching and receiving vaccine production technologies of other countries.

A diplomatic campaign comprising a series of actions at all levels have been launched to realise the goal.

On June 2, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc sent a letter to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, expressing his hope that Russia will give Vietnam priority in accessing Russia's vaccine supplies, and cooperating with Vietnam in vaccine production.

Earlier, on May 30, the Vietnamese leader also cabled a letter to US President Joe Biden and asked the US to continue supporting Vietnam in COVID-19 vaccine and proposed cooperation in COVID-19 vaccine research, production and technology transfer.

PM Pham Minh Chinh also held phone talks with leaders of various countries and mentioned cooperation in vaccine supply.

During his phone talks with Australian PM Scott Morrison on May 25, he asked Australia to provide Vietnam with the AstraZeneca vaccine produced in Australia as soon as possible.

In the phone talks with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau on May 19, PM Chinh also suggested that Canada assist Vietnam in COVID-19 vaccine access.

Diplomatic efforts taken to bring COVID-19 vaccine to Vietnam hinh anh 2The first lot of AstraZeneca vaccine arrives in Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

At the Foreign Minister level, on May 25, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son had phone talks with his German counterpart Heiko Maas, during which he proposed that Germany create favourable conditions for Vietnam in getting Germany's vaccine sources and vaccine production technology.

On May 28, Son also asked for support from the US in this regard while taking a phone call with his US counterpart Antony Blinken.

Earlier, he also put forward a similar proposal to British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Dominic Raab during their phone talks on May 19.

Apart from the activities, senior leaders of Vietnam also directly met ambassadors and representatives of many countries and international organisations in Vietnam to ask for support in COVID-19 vaccine supply and the sharing of vaccine production technology copyright.

Thanks to these diplomatic efforts, Vietnam has successfully negotiated with countries and partners to receive a certain amount of COVID-19 vaccine doses.

The country is working hard to diversify its COVID-19 vaccine supply sources.

The Government has decided to set up the COVID-19 vaccine fund to receive, manage and use aid and contributions from various sources for buying, importing, researching, producing and using vaccines in Vietnam.

The positive results have brought about a strong confidence that Vietnam will overcome the pandemic./.