On 28 May 2021, at the Ministry of Health in Hanoi, Minister Nguyen Thanh Long chaired an urgent meeting with foreign business associations to discuss the access of COVID-19 vaccines for foreign-invested enterprises in Vietnam. EuroCham, BritCham, JCCI, InCham and the embassies of Japan and Korea joined the meeting.
On behalf of EuroCham, Vice Chairman Torben Minko shared that EuroCham welcomes the Government’s ambitious target in vaccination. Vietnam has been one of the world’s leading countries in containing the pandemic. However, according to the chamber’s latest survey, 79% of European business leaders agreed that they want to vaccinate their staff out of their own pocket. This would reduce the burden on the national budget and also accelerate the Government’s vaccination drive. To further support the Government, as well as the Ministry of Health, EuroCham will discuss with the EU to ensure more vaccines to be delivered to Vietnam through the COVAX programme. Other chambers also shared the same idea that companies are willing to share the vaccine cost directly.
Responding to the chambers’ concerns, Minister Long shared that the Government and the Ministry of Health have been making the best efforts to have more COVID-19 vaccines, bringing life in Vietnam back to normal. Up to now, the number of vaccines from COVAX programme that have been negotiated is 110 million doses, expected to be supplied to Vietnam in 2021.
Furthermore, the Government also encourages the private sector to directly import vaccines into Vietnam. Private sector’s contributions in many ways are also welcomed, either by direct financial support, donation to the COVID vaccine fund or by direct vaccine imports into Vietnam. Foreign businesses can cooperate with Vietnamese institutes and enterprises in terms of technology transfer and investment in producing vaccines to fasten the vaccination drive.