Vietnam's initiative to establish a vaccine fund is a humane idea
Each country has its own policies to ensure funding to buy vaccines against Covid-19. The Government of Vietnam’s initiative to establish a vaccine fund has been praised for its humane features.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh presents a certificate of merit and flowers to Dr. Dong Phu Khiem, Deputy Head of the Intensive Care Ward of the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases. Photo VGP
According to Reuters, Germany plans to spend nearly 9 billion euros (about 10.9 billion USD) this year to buy 635.1 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines for its people and member states of the European Union (EU). This is part of the European Union's plan on joint purchase of vaccines and Germany's effort to maintain annual vaccine stocks.
In Japan, the government has spent 512 billion yen (about 4.7 billion USD) in the reserve budget of the 2021 fiscal year to buy more vaccines. Previously, in the 2020 fiscal year, the Japanese government allocated a total of 11.5 trillion yen (about 104.4 billion USD) for the reserve fund, and used almost all of the money.
For Malaysia, the Government has issued an emergency decree, allowing the use of revenue from the National Trust Fund (KWAN) to buy Covid-19 vaccines. The Malaysian Finance Minister said that the Government will use 5 billion Ringgit (about 1.6 billion USD) out of 19.5 billion Ringgit from the KWAN fund to buy vaccines and realize the goal of vaccinating 80% of the population by December 2021.
Vietnam, as one of the countries that has had to find overseas vaccine sources, as soon as the epidemic broke out, took many measures to seek supplies of vaccines. Vietnam established a Covid-19 vaccine fund to raise capital to purchase vaccines from financial contributions from people at home and abroad.
Individuals and organizations at home and abroad have donated to the fund via various channels and forms such as international credit cards, ATM cards, e-wallets, Internet banking, mobile banking, and particularly through the website https://www.quyvacxincovid19.gov.vn/.
Through the website www.quyvacxincovid19.gov.vn, people can donate to the fund in general or express their desire to donate to specific provinces and cities, or specific organizations. The website also enables donors to send wishes and messages to relatives, friends, and frontline anti-epidemic workers. Electronic sponsorship certificates will be sent to benefactors immediately.
As some local governments have also called for donations to their own funds, this website allows donors to donate to specific provinces and cities or any organization at their wish. The system enables the Vietnam Vaccine Fund to receive and centrally manage all donations for the nationwide vaccine program.
Rana Flowers, UNICEF Country Representative in Vietnam, said: “UNICEF welcomes the pooled fund. We really appreciate the national solidarity that has been shown in pooling funds together. Vaccines are a public good and in UNICEF’s view, they should be provided free of charge to the population, particularly the prioritized groups as well as vulnerable, poor and near-poor populations. It is the case that in every country, it should be the Government that manages and controls these processes, that purchases the vaccine, controls those purchases, and ensures safe distribution.”
According to the Ministry of Finance, as of July 17, the Covid-19 Vaccine Fund received donations from nearly 450,000 organizations and individuals with a total amount of VND 8,159 billion. Previously, the fund had transferred capital to buy 61 million doses of vaccines.
You can donate to the Covid-19 Vaccine Fund through the following methods:
- Donate online via website: https://www.quyvacxincovid19.gov.vn;
- Compose a message: COVID NK sent to 1408, with N as any number between 1 and 2,000, K representing the unit (thousand dong);
- Transfer money to account number 686868 (VND, USD, EUR) at the HCM City Development Joint Stock Commercial Bank (HDBank);
- Transfer money to the State Treasury Exchange via account number 3761.0.9098866.91999 (VND); 761.0.9098869.91999 (USD) and 3761.00.9098786.91999 (EUR).
The Ministry of Finance and the management board of Vietnam's COVID-19 vaccine fund organised a ceremony on July 16 to receive more than 81 billion VND (3.52 million USD) worth of donations from 18 organisations and individuals.