HANOI (REUTERS) - Vietnam has received a shipment of 500,000 Sinopharm vaccine doses donated by China, the Health Ministry said on Sunday (June 20), as the country is ramping up inoculations to battle a more widespread outbreak of Covid-19.
The South-east Asian nation approved China's Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use against Covid-19 in early June.
The vaccines will be used for three groups: Chinese citizens in Vietnam, Vietnamese who have plans to work or study in China and people who live near the borders with China, the Health Ministry said in a statement.
Vietnam's domestic inoculation programme, which started in March, has so far relied heavily on around four million shots of AstraZeneca's vaccine.
Nearly 2.4 million people in Vietnam have had one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while 115,315 have been fully vaccinated, according to official data.
The country of 98 million also received a batch of nearly one million AstraZeneca doses of vaccine donated by the Japanese government on June 16.
Vietnam is tackling a more stubborn wave of infections.
The country's business hub, Ho Chi Minh City, on Sunday banned public gatherings of more than three people and imposed lockdown orders on some virus-prone areas.
Vietnam's latest outbreak, which includes the highly transmissible Delta coronavirus variant, has accounted for about 75 per cent of its overall cases during the pandemic, with 9,849 infections and 31 fatalities since late April.