Vietnam registers to buy Russian COVID-19 vaccine

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Hanoi, Aug. 14, 2020 Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has registered to purchase Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine, a broadcast on state-run Vietnam Television (VTV) said on Friday.

“In the meantime, Vietnam will still continue developing the country’s own COVID-19 vaccine,” the announcement said, citing the Health Ministry.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that the country had approved a COVID-19 vaccine named “Sputnik V.’’

Russian officials have dismissed concern expressed by scientists around the world over the lack of final-stage testing of the vaccine.

“It remains unclear whether Vietnam is merely registering to buy a small number of doses of the vaccine for now or if they will make a larger order for widespread use,’’ it stressed.

According to state media reports, Vietnam is aiming to have its own COVID-19 vaccine ready for human trials at the end of 2020 and ready for general use by October 2021.

The South-East Asian nation has thus far been relatively successful in its response to the coronavirus pandemic and received repeated praise from the World Health Organisation.

Yet after a fresh outbreak in the coastal city of Da Nang in late July after months of no community transmissions of the virus, the number of new infections has been rising rapidly and the country has seen its first deaths linked to COVID-19.

As of Friday, Vietnam has officially recorded 911 infections and 21 deaths.

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