Romania, Italy donate over one million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Vietnam

Vietnam on August 25 received 1,101,000 doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine donated by the Romanian and Italian Government.

At the handover ceremony (Photo: VNA)
Speaking at the hand-over ceremony in Hanoi, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung expressed sincere thanks to the Romanian Government and people for their valuable and timely support to Vietnam, saying this was a noble gesture reflecting the loyal and close friendship between the two countries, which has been nurtured by generations over the past 70 years.

Dung appreciated Romania as one of the first European Union members to donate vaccine to Vietnam, adding that it would make a practical contribution to the fight against Covid-19 in the country.

The deputy minister took this occasion to express his thanks to Romanian Ambassador to Vietnam Cristina Romila for playing an important role in mobilising the Romanian Government to present the vaccine to Vietnam. He also proposed the Romania Government consider the possibility of transferring its surplus vaccines to the country.

Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan affirmed that the Ministry of Health would soon put this batch of vaccine into use in the most effective way.

Romila said that after the phone talks between Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on July 14 as well as the letter from Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to Romanian Prime Minister Florin Citu on July 19, the Romanian Government decided to increase the donated number of vaccines to 300,000 doses, three times higher than the original plan.

She said the Romanian Government always remembered the valuable support of face masks and medical supplies from the Vietnamese Government and the Vietnamese community in Romania in the early stages of the pandemic.

Vietnam was the first Asian country to receive Covid-19 vaccine donated by Romania, she said.

The ambassador affirmed that Romania would continue standing side by side with Vietnam and firmly believed that the country would soon put the pandemic under control.

Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)
On the same day, the Italian Government decided to present Vietnam with 801,600 doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine via the COVAX Facility to aid the nation’s fight against the pandemic.

The batch of vaccine, expected to be delivered to Vietnam in early September, is the result of the efforts of senior leaders, including Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh who sent a letter to his Italian counterpart Mario Draghi, asking for vaccine support, as well as the endeavours of the Government’s working group on vaccine diplomacy in the past time.
The donation is evidence of the Vietnam - Italy strategic partnership and shows the solidarity the Italian Government and people have reserved for Vietnam.

Amid complicated developments of Covid-19 with the appearance of new variants, the Vietnamese Government has identified accessing many vaccine supplies for the quickest implementation of the large-scale vaccination rollout is the solution and top priority to push back the epidemic.

Currently, Italy is the European Union's second biggest donor of the COVAX Facility with a commitment to provide 15 million doses of vaccine and US$359 million.

As a development partner of ASEAN, Italy recently pledged to donate an additional 2 million USD to the bloc’s special fund to cope with Covid-19.

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