Update: 08:44 | 15/03/2022
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on March 14 thanked foreign countries and organisations for their practical, timely support to Vietnam during the Covid-19 combat over the past more than two years.
The PM, who is also head of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, made the remarks at the Covid-19 vaccine appreciation ceremony that saw the attendance of representatives from United Nations organisations, the World Health Organisation (WHO), 40 foreign embassies and vaccine producers in Vietnam.
PM Pham Minh Chinh speaks at the event.
Stressing the significance of vaccines in the pandemic fight, Chinh said the Vietnamese government has rolled out the vaccine strategy, stepped up vaccine diplomacy, established a vaccine fund, boosted the import, research and transfer of vaccine production technology, and launched the biggest-ever vaccination campaign.
He highlighted vaccine supplies from Pfizer, Janssen and Moderna of the US, AstraZeneca of the UK, VeroCell and Sinovax of China, Sputnik V of Russia, Abdala of Cuba, and Covaxin of India.
Nearly 40 percent of vaccines Vietnam has received came through the COVAX Facility, the Government leader said, noting that more than 30 countries have provided vaccines for Vietnam via the mechanism and the bilateral channel, significantly helping the country roll out its vaccine strategy and immunisation campaign.
Vietnam is now among the countries with the highest vaccination coverage in the world, and the rate of hospitalisation as well as the numbers of severe cases and fatalities are decreasing, according to the PM.
The country has shifted to safely and flexibly adapting to, and effectively controlling Covid-19 since October 2021, he said, emphasising achievements in socio-economic recovery and development with GDP jumping 5.22 percent in the last quarter of 2021 and 2.58 percent last year.
Notably, international commercial flights have been resumed from February 15, and Vietnam will fully open its doors to international tourists from mid-March, he continued.
Chinh affirmed that Vietnam is always a good friend, a trust-worthy partner and a responsible member of the international community, and the country backs international cooperation in the pandemic combat.
Vietnam has provided practical and timely support for many countries in Covid-19 prevention and control, while contributing to the COVAX Facility and the WHO’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
As ASEAN Chair 2020, Vietnam worked to promote solidarity and unity within the bloc during the pandemic fight, the PM said, highlighting the country’s contributions to promoting vaccine equity and cooperation at multilateral forums.
The PM stressed that Vietnam being selected as a country to receive mRNA vaccine technology transfer would help the Southeast Asian nation churn out mRNA vaccines of international standards to serve domestic demand and supply to other countries.
Pointing out difficulties and challenges ahead in the pandemic combat, he called for further international cooperation and solidarity and the support for bilateral and multilateral initiatives to boost vaccine equity.
On this occasion, Chinh announced that the Vietnamese government will continue contributing to the COVAX Facility.
He also called for more assistance from countries and organisations in vaccines, especially those against new variants and those for children aged from 5 to 12, as well as in school reopening and improving the capacity of the domestic medical system, especially grassroots and preventive health care.
Rana Flower, Acting UN Resident Coordinator and UNICEF Representative in Vietnam, lauded efforts by Vietnam in the pandemic combat, saying the country is a model in this regard.
UNICEF and UN organisations will continue to support Vietnam in this field, particularly vaccine supply and production, contributing to bringing a better life to Vietnamese, especially women and children, she pledged.
In his recorded remarks, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also affirmed that Vietnam is among the countries that have successfully contained the pandemic.
Vietnam is a model and demonstration of national efforts and international support in vaccination, which should be replicated, he said.