Vietnam receives 403,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by Australian Government hinh anh 1The Ministry of Health receives the batch of AstraZeneca vaccine donated by the Australian Government (Photo: VNA) 

HCM City (VNA) – The Australian Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City on behalf of the Australian Government handed over 403,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Vietnam on August 27.

The delivery of these doses is the first installment towards Australia’s commitment of 1.5 million AstraZeneca doses to be shared with Vietnam this year, in support of the Southeast Asian nation's COVID-19 response

Julianne Cowley, Australian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, said the handover of 403,000 doses of vaccine was part of the country’s continued commitment to Vietnam as a close friend and strategic partner.

Australia is also providing an additional vaccine-related support package to Vietnam through its partnership with the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) worth nearly 30 million USD. They include additional doses of vaccine, syringes, and cold chain equipment, training for health workers, as well as supporting vaccination in remote provinces.

According to Cowley, although Australia is also struggling with the Delta variant, much of Australia is under lockdown and the Australian health sector is also working hard to vaccinate its people but Vietnam will not be alone in the fight against COVID-19.

Australia will continue to work closely with Vietnam and other partners in the region to respond to the pandemic, she said, adding that accessing to effective COVID-19 vaccines will support the region's future recovery and stability, and prosperity.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son said that the vaccine support from Australia at this time is very timely for Vietnam's vaccination implementation in the context that many provinces and cities are coping with an increase in the number of COVID-19 infection cases. Currently, 58 out of 63 provinces and cities across the country have recorded COVID-19 cases, especially in densely populated areas and industrial parks with many people.

“This batch of vaccine from the Australian Government aid has arrived in HCM City in the context that the entire political system and people are trying their best to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

The support of the Government and people of Australia is of great and precious significance to Vietnam in the fight against COVID-19, Son said, adding that it is more meaningful as the two countries are approaching the important milestone of 50 years of establishing diplomatic relations, contributing to further promoting the Vietnam - Australia strategic partnership.

He said that the Ministry of Health of Vietnam is committed to distributing vaccines against COVID-19 to localities based on the actual pandemic situation, meeting the urgent requirements of pandemic prevention in an appropriate, effective and equitable manner./.