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At the ceremony to hand over the support (Photo: MoH)

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The equipment and supplies, funded by USAID and delivered through UNICEF between November 2021 and February 2022, include 2.5 million syringes, 125,000 N95 face masks and 250 portable patient monitors. The donation has come at a timely moment as Vietnam responds to the current Omicron-fueled wave.

Speaking at the event at the Ministry of Health, Deputy Minsiter Tran Van Thuan thanked the international community’s support for Vietnam in the COVID-19 fight. Since 2020, the US Government has donated to Vietnam 32.72 million USD worth of medical supplies, including 30.2 million Pfizer and Moderna vaccine doses, he said.

He added that the Ministry of Health has promptly distributed the donated facemasks and patient monitors to cities and provinces in need, such as Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Ha Giang, Ha Tinh, Hanoi and Hai Duong.

Additional 1 million USD worth of vaccine administration supplies, including freezers and computers, will be delivered to Vietnam in the coming time, he further noted.

"The United States and Vietnam have built on decades of collaboration and friendship, drawing on each other’s strengths and capacities, to jointly identify and address the highest priorities when responding to COVID-19," said USAID Vietnam Mission Director Ann Marie Yastishock.

She affirmed USAID’s steadfast commitment to supporting Vietnam’s COVID-19 response, including through partners such as UNICEF.

UNICEF continues to work hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Health and its key partners, to not just focus on the rollout of safe vaccines but to support the provision of the medical equipment and medicines that are critical to saving lives from COVID-19, said Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative to Vietnam.

Throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic, USAID and UNICEF have worked in partnership with the Ministry of Health to bolster Vietnam’s risk communication and community engagement, and to improve infection prevention, control and response efforts.

UNICEF, as the primary COVAX partner in-country, has worked to bring in US-supported COVID vaccines, totaling more than 33 million to-date.