Vietnam likely to overcome current COVID-19 outbreaks: The Diplomat hinh anh 1Sample collection for COVID-19 testing from citizens returning from Bac Giang at a quarantine facility in Lai Chau province. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam is going to get through its current COVID-19 difficulties, as it has an effective government, a decent public health system, and a patriotic population that will rally, said a recent article published by The Diplomat.

Posted on June 15, the article discussed challenges facing Vietnam when its number of COVID-19 cases increase rapidly and the vaccination rate is the lowest among Southeast Asian countries. It also analysed the possibilities that can help the nation overcome such situation.

The author said a few months ago, Vietnam was held up as the gold standard for its COVID-19 response efforts. The country had some of the lowest rates – both cases and deaths – in the world. As a result, despite fears of a greater economic fallout, it was the only economy in all of Southeast Asia that experienced positive economic growth in 2020, albeit a mere 2 percent, a far cry from the 6-7 percent growth it has experienced over the past five years.

The article attributed the achievement to Vietnam’s political system and its quick response. It wrote, “The borders were sealed, and quarantines in army camps vigorously imposed. The public information campaigns were catchy and on-message.”

A very good public health system that focused on prevention, not costly medical cures was also helped, the article added. Vietnam’s public health system had years of experience in coping with SARS, avian influenzas, and other zoonotic viruses, and public health leadership had put in place effective institutions and procedures, rigorous quarantines, and contact tracing.

However, at the current rate of vaccinations amid the fourth wave of COVID-19, Vietnam will not reach heard immunity for a decade, wrote the author. In response, the Vietnamese Government immediately stepped up negotiations to buy vaccines and called for support for the country's vaccine fund.

Per the article, with new variants and an economy that was in the midst of re-opening, the number of new cases in Vietnam was still a very low figure overall.

Spurred by fresh outbreaks since late April, by early June, the Vietnamese Government had contracted 31 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine by the end of the year; 38.9 million doses of AstraZeneca from COVAX, plus 30 million in a corporate purchase; and reached a purchase agreement for 50-150 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V.

In all, Vietnam has secured over 170 million doses, enough to achieve herd immunity. They will be delivered in the end of 2021 or early 2022.

Vietnam currently has four domestic establishments involved in developing COVID-19 vaccines: Nanogen, Vabiotech, Polyvac, and the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC). Meanwhile, three vaccines (AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, and Sinopharm) have been approved by the Vietnamese authorities to date.

In conclusion, the author noted Vietnam is going to overcome its challenges thanks to an effective government, a decent public health system, and a patriotic population that will rally. Most importantly there is a hunger in Vietnam to develop economically, and not be caught in the middle income trap. Coming out of the pandemic as quickly as possible is the key to that./.

 Vietnam's national COVID-19 vaccine fund had received more than 5.972 trillion VND (259.4 million USD) worth of donations from 332,578 organisations and individuals as of 5pm on June 21.

Managed by the Ministry of Finance, the not-for-profit fund will use the mobilised capital resources for right purposes and in line with legal regulations, ensuring publicity, transparency and efficiency. It is subject to the examination, inspection, and auditing by relevant State agencies and to the supervision by the Vietnam Fatherland Front and the community.

Vietnam needs 150 million doses of vaccines to administer about 75 percent of its population this year, with total cost amounting to 25.2 trillion VND.