September 16, 2019
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 In Vaccine Equity and Access

Country: Viet Nam
Delegate Name: Allison Bennett

Vaccine equity is the concept that vaccinations should be fairly distributed between people of all regions no matter their socioeconomic status. Sadly, vaccine equity is far from a reality. Bigger, rich nations bought more than enough vaccines to vaccinate their citizens several times over, While low and middle income countries can barely get enough vaccines to immunize their at-risk citizens. The WHO Strategy to Achieve Global COVID-19 Vaccination by mid-2022 plans to vaccinate 40% of the population of every country by the end of this year, and 70% by the middle of next year. WHO can only achieve their goal if the countries who control the vaccine supply put deliveries for COVAX and AVAT first. Vaccine equity will accelerate the end of the pandemic. Achieving WHO’s vaccine equity targets will protect health systems, enable economies to fully restart, increase immunity globally, and reduce the risk of new variants emerging.

Viet Nam’s overall vaccination rate for Covid-19 remains low with 28% having received one shot, and only 4% being fully vaccinated. A vaccine shortage forced the country to slow its vaccination program. To help cope with the vaccination shortage, Viet Nam’s health authority allowed people to get combinations of different two dose Covid-19 vaccinations. Health experts say this is most likely safe and effective, but they are still unsure and gathering data. Viet Nam has been using AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, and Sinophram, a chinese made vaccine. Viet Nam has produced Nanocovax, a Covid-19 vaccination candidate. The pandemic has greatly affected Viet Nam’s supply chains which led to 90 U.S companies, who are dependent on Viet Nam, writing to their President asking him to make more Covid-19 vaccines accessible to Viet Nam. Countries like Poland, Hungary, France, the Czech Republic, Romania and Italy have also donated Covid-19 vaccines and medical supplies to Viet Nam. Viet Nam has also had to urge WHO to send more vaccinations as Covid cases spiked.

Viet Nam applied to WHO to transfer technology that would allow Viet Nam to start producing mRNA vaccines, the model Pfizer and Moderna were developed on, locally. Nanocovax is currently in its third round of human trials which it was said to be safe and able to elicit an immune response but they have not accessed the vaccine’s protection efficacy. Authorities are expected to grant emergency approval for Nanocovax and if everything goes as planned Viet Nam should have its first domestic Covid-19 vaccine in the fourth quarter of this year. The UN could work on an agreement that if there’s a lack of vaccinations in the future to help divide the vaccines correctly among nations. The UN could also come up with a way to help fund the making of vaccinations in smaller countries.

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