Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu, deputy head of the Government Working Group on vaccine diplomacy, made this affirmation during a recent interview held with the media regarding Vietnamese efforts and achievements in this regard.
Referring to changes occurring in vaccine diplomacy in the face of a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines, Deputy Minister Vu said that since its establishment following the close direction of the Prime Minister, the Vaccine Diplomatic Working Group has thoroughly and effectively carried out every task.
The working group's activities have served to make a very important and meaningful change, which is demonstrated through the methodical, smooth, and effective co-ordination occurring at all levels, especially the senior level in implementing vaccine diplomacy in different forms.
Most notably, the growing number of vaccines arriving in the country has helped speed up vaccine coverage among the population as a result of the strong operational efficiency of the working group.
The number of vaccines has therefore increased from approximately 13 million doses of vaccine in August to more than 50 million in September. Indeed, by the end of October the country will gain access to sufficient vaccine sources to cover the majority of the national population, thereby creating positive conditions for the process of opening the economy, Deputy Minister Vu said.
Regarding difficulties and advantages when implementing the vaccine diplomacy strategy, the local diplomat stated that ensuring a vaccine source for roughly 100 million people in the fastest manner possible is an uphill task amid a global shortage of vaccine resources for many nations globally.
Most notably, the rapid spread of the Delta variant is currently putting pressure on many countries to access vaccines. Therefore, it can be considered a race to access vaccines between various nations, not to mention ensuring equal access to vaccines, he stated.
“However, we also have certain advantages in deploying vaccine diplomacy as international prestige and position have been further raised in recent years. We have many networks of friends and international partners who are very supportive of our nation,” the Deputy Minister stated.
It can be seen that the importance of the Vietnamese economy is also crucial in the global supply chain and production chain. International partners also aspire to co-operate and help the nation access vaccines to ensure that the international supply chain is not broken, thereby affecting regional and global supply chains.
Moreover, the large overseas Vietnamese community are always looking toward the country and are a very good source of support from many countries for people in accessing vaccines as well as treatment drugs and medical equipment.
With regard to the prospect of Vietnamese vaccine diplomacy until the end of the year, the Deputy FM said that if partners fulfill their commitments, the amount of vaccines arriving in the country will be quite positive, especially in October.
With regard to the focus of vaccine diplomacy moving forward, Deputy Minister Vu went on to say that the nation will focus on accelerating the implementation of vaccine purchase agreements that the Government and the Ministry of Health have signed with partners. This will involve continuing to step up co-operation with potential partners in accessing new vaccine sources to serve vaccination for 2022 and the following years, along with ensuring the supply of vaccines for children.
“Especially, the nation is preparing for the third injection in the context that many countries have started the vaccination of the third dose to supplement the vaccine efficacy.
We will continue to ramp up the possibility of cooperation in vaccine production technology transfer to serve the country's long-term vaccine autonomy,” he added.