The Vietnam has approved the use of Abdala, one of the coronavirus vaccines developed by scientists in Cuba, authorities in the country of Southeast Asia, which has been facing the worst wave of the pandemic, said.
Abdallah is the eighth vaccine whose use is approved in Vietnam. The country has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the region, with just 6.3% of its population (98 million) receiving two doses.
The announcement came hours after President Nguyen Swan Fuk left Hanoi for an official visit to Havana.
As of Friday, Vietnam had recorded 16,637 deaths due to COVID-19 out of a total of 667,650 cases of SARS-CoV-2 (212 / 11,521 in 24 hours), the vast majority after the country began to be hit by the wave attributed to the most infectious variant of Delta, in late April.
“The Ministry of Health has approved the use of the Abdullah vaccine due to the urgency of the country” for more doses of vaccines in the fight against the pandemic, according to a government statement.
Hanoi announced last month that Cuba would supply Vietnam with large quantities of Abdallah and transfer know-how to produce it within the year.
Vietnam and Cuba are among the last five countries in the world to be ruled by communist parties – the other three being China, Laos and North Korea.
In July, Vietnam’s diplomacy urged the United States to end its “hostile policy” against Cuba and lift the embargo imposed on the island following protests.