HANOI (REUTERS) - Vietnam will receive 20 million doses of Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine from Russia this year, the government said on Saturday (Sept 4).
The statement came after a meeting in Hanoi between Vietnamese Defence Minister Phan Van Giang and Russian Deputy Defence Minister Alexei Krivoruchko.
Only 3 per cent of Vietnam's 98 million people have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Vietnam has deployed soldiers and forced residents of its biggest city to stay in their homes in recent weeks, in its most drastic measures yet to fight an outbreak that has shattered what was one of the world's best containment records.
"We cannot resort to quarantine and lockdown measures forever, as it will cause difficulty for the people and the economy," Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said late on Wednesday .
Aggressive contact tracing and quarantine procedures in the country of 98 million people had succeeded in keeping the virus under control for over a year, but the highly contagious Delta variant has hit Vietnam hard.
Total Covid-19 cases jumped from just a few thousand in late April to 480,000 at present, with more than 12,000 deaths. Ho Chi Minh City has been the worst hit by far.
Mr Chinh said preventing deaths was the top priority, and vaccinations were a key strategic measure.