A decision by the Vietnamese Health Ministry to order from 50 million to 150 million doses of the Russian anti-COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V has become one of the hottest news stories in the country in recent days. The Russian Ministry of Health said that the vaccine supply depends on the progress and results of clinical trials conducted by the manufacturer.
Moreover, the vaccine testing process in Vietnam before its mass use should comply with strict regulations and will take time. This is indeed one of the main challenges in providing the country's population with the anti-coronavirus vaccine.
Alongside the country's Ministry of Health, a number of private Vietnamese medical institutions are also actively working with Russian partners on purchasing the world's first vaccine.
“If Russian President Putin said his own daughter had been vaccinated with this vaccine, this shows that there is simply no better drug". This is what Ms Tran Thi Lam, Chairman of the Founding Council of the Hoa Lam Group Medical Corporation, President of the Hoa Lam Shangrila high-tech medical complex, said about Russia's Sputnik V vaccine.
Sputnik spoke to Tran Thi Lam to discuss the world's first vaccine against the coronavirus.
Sputnik: As it turns out, the Hoa Lam Group has shown interest in purchasing the Russian-made vaccine. How did this happen, when and why?
Tran Thi Lam: I learned from the media that Russia was preparing to launch an anti-COVID-19 vaccine called Sputnik V. And, of course, I took interest in that.
Sputnik: If you manage to buy the Russian vaccine, how does the Hoa Lam Corporation plan to use it?
Tran Thi Lam: Before importing the Russian vaccine, we will certainly have to secure the approval of the relevant government agencies. If we get the green light, the vaccine will be distributed for use by citizens through our system's health facilities.
Sputnik: The West was hostile about the fact that Russia had registered the world's first COVID-19 vaccine, pointing to its "dangers", as well as the fact that its testing hadn't been completed. Is the Hoa Lam Corporation concerned about this?
Tran Thi Lam: We trust the long-standing, strong reputation of the Soviet and modern-day Russian microbiological technologies. We have visited a number of federal research institutions in Moscow and Novosibirsk, and personally I have no reason not to trust the achievements of Russian science.
I am not too worried about the alleged "dangers" of the Russian vaccine since it will definitely go through several stages of clinical trials before its mass use.