EU Ambassador affirms safety of AstraZeneca vaccine hinh anh 1Ambassador Giorgio Aliberti affirms the safety of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at a meeting with the press on March 23. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
Ambassador Giorgio Aliberti, head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam, and some ambassadors of EU member countries on March 23 affirmed the safety of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

During a meeting with the press before the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines arrives in Vietnam via the WHO-led Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) initiative, Ambassador Aliberti said the EU has put the safety of the vaccine first.

Regarding the suspension of AstraZeneca vaccine rollouts by certain EU countries, the ambassador said the EU’s competent agencies have made efforts in tracing scientific evidence proving the safety of the vaccine.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recently allowed to resume the inoculation, he added.

The cases of vaccination side effects found in Europe over the past time are very rare, about only one in one million vaccinated people, according to the ambassador.

Echoing Aliberti’s view, German Ambassador to Vietnam Guido Hildner said seven out of 1.7 million vaccinated people in Germany have experienced side effects. However, the German Government then agreed to resume the vaccination following cautious assessments.

Vaccinated people must be under close supervision following the injection, he suggested.

According to Aliberti, through the “TeamEurope” initiative, the EU has become the first sponsor that has significantly contributed to the COVAX facility, with funding of 2.6 billion EUR, making up 40 percent of the programme’s total budget.

Via COVAX, the EU wants to press ahead with COVID-19 vaccine procurement to vaccinate the global population, he stressed.

Vietnam is among the 92 countries selected by the EU to receive the vaccine during the first phase of the programme, the ambassador said, noting that more than 1.3 million doses of vaccines are scheduled to be delivered to Vietnam in late March or early April.

COVAX announced Vietnam will receive from 4,886,400 to 8,253,600 doses, of which 25 – 35 percent will be delivered in the first quarter and the remainder in the second quarter of 2021. Astra Zeneca vaccine has been selected for the initial rollout.

The EU will make its best to soon bring COVID-19 vaccines to Vietnam, Aliberti pledged. Around 18 million doses are expected to arrive in the country by the end of this year, covering 15 percent of its population, towards the target of vaccinating 20 percent of the population in the first stage.

Ambassadors from Spain, Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic affirmed their support for the EU’s efforts to roll out COVID-19 vaccines in countries worldwide, including Vietnam./.