U.S. aid for 2 million doses of vaccine arrives over weekend in Vietnam

Confirmed cases of 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Vietnam continue to surge. The U.S. White House said it began shipping 2 million doses of Moderna vaccine to Vietnam today, providing the latest aid to a country struggling to fight the epidemic.

The Moderna vaccine, part of President Biden’s earlier pledge to distribute 80 million doses worldwide, is scheduled to arrive in Vietnam by the end of the week, an unnamed official told AFP.

“Vaccine aid for Southeast Asian countries is just beginning,” the official said. The U.S. sent 1 million doses of vaccine to Malaysia on May 5, and the White House said last week that 4 million doses would be sent to Indonesia “soon.

Other countries on the list of 80 million doses include Cambodia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Thailand.

Vietnam, with a population of 97 million, was originally considered a “model vaccine fighter,” but vaccination rates in the country are extremely low and infection rates have risen sharply in the past few weeks. According to the Vietnam Ministry of Health, as of the 5th, only about 3.9 million doses of vaccine have been administered nationwide, and only 226,000 people have completed two doses of vaccination.