USAID, US CDC promise to support Vietnam in COVID-19 combat hinh anh 1The US pledges to continue supporting Vietnam in the fight against COVID-19 (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) of the US and  the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have committed continued support for Vietnam in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic

In recent meetings with representatives of USAID and US CDC, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long suggested the two agencies take early actions to quicken the supply of Pfizer vaccine to Vietnam as soon as possible, thus helping the country speed up its COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Minister Long thanked the US government for its supply of equipment, funding and over 5 million doses of Moderna vaccine for Vietnam through the COVAX Facility.

Vietnam urgently needs more COVID-19 vaccines in the context of the rapid spread of the Delta variant, he said.

Vietnam signed a contract with the US side to buy 31 million doses of Pfizer vaccine, and the Vietnamese government is negotiating another 20 million doses, Long added.

A USAID representative  spoke highly of the close cooperation between the agency and the Vietnamese Ministry of Health (MoH) over the past time.

According to the minister, the US government has completed a contract with Pfizer and pledged to provide 500 million doses of the vaccine to accelerate the global COVID-19 vaccination effort.

A USAID representative promised to urge the US Government to prioritise the supply of Pfizer vaccine for Vietnam as soon as possible.

The US government has agreed to provide Vietnam with 4.5 million USD to better the country’s COVID-19 vaccination drive and related medical capabilities, according to the MoH.

Long said he hopes the USAID could persuade the US government to provide Vietnam with the vaccines either within August or September.

The health minister also proposed the US side provide Vietnam with more ultra-low-temperature freezers for storing vaccines, high-function ventilators serving the treatment of COVID-19 patients,  oxygen tanks and other medical equipment.

According to the USAID, 77 such freezers, committed during a visit by the US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin in July, will arrive in Vietnam by early September.

Minister Long said Vietnam is capable of producing medical oxygen to meet COVID-19 treatment, but it is in need of tanks for the gas and other medical equipment.

USAID, US CDC promise to support Vietnam in COVID-19 combat hinh anh 2The US government agrees to provide Vietnam with 4.5 million USD to better  COVID-19 vaccination drive (Photo: Vietnamplus)

At the meeting with the US CDC-Vietnam Country Director, Minister Long suggested the two sides continue to promote their close cooperation in the fight against infectious diseases, especially the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vietnamese Government has taken concerted measures to reduce the numbers of new cases and fatalities related COVID-19 in the context of the widespread spread of the Delta variant, he went on.

The health ministry is also establishing large COVID-19 intensive care units (ICUs) in Ho Chi Minh City and southern localities to combat COVID-19 outbreaks.

It is proposing USAID and the US CDC provide ventilators, oxygen tanks and other medical equipment to treat severe COVID-19 cases and prevent deaths, said Long.

On July 24, Vietnam received additional 3,000,060 doses of COVID-19 Moderna vaccine donated by the US government through the COVAX facility, according to UNICEF Vietnam.

This  was the second batch of the vaccine delivered to the country in July, bringing the total donation from the US Government to Vietnam to more than 5 million doses.

For several months, COVAX partners, WHO, CEPI, GAVI and delivery partner UNICEF have been supporting the Government of Vietnam in readiness efforts and the national rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. They have been especially active in developing a National Vaccination Plan, as Vietnam is benefiting from the Advance Market Commitment (AMC), an innovative financial mechanism to help secure global and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines./.