S.Korea to donate 1mln COVID-19 vaccine doses to Vietnam in October

Vietnam has fully vaccinated only about 7% of its 98 million people

  
Health workers wait for their turn as Vietnam starts its official rollout of AstraZeneca's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine for health workers, at Hai Duong Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Hai Duong province, Vietnam, March 8, 2021.

Health workers wait for their turn as Vietnam starts its official rollout of AstraZeneca's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine for health workers, at Hai Duong Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Hai Duong province, Vietnam, March 8, 2021.

REUTERS/Thanh Hue

SEOUL - South Korea said on Wednesday it would donate more than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Vietnam next month in what would become the northern Asian country's first direct cross-border sharing of its vaccine stockpiles.

Vietnam, which serves as a major manufacturing hub for many South Korean companies including technology company Samsung Electronics, has fully vaccinated only about 7% of its 98 million people, one of Asia's lowest inoculation rates.

The announcement by South Korea's presidential office came hours after President Moon Jae-in met with Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

South Korea's Vice Health Minister Kang Do-tae declined to disclose the vaccine brand when asked during a Wednesday briefing.

South Korea, which also struggled to get vaccine supplies initially, has supercharged its campaign in recent months, inoculating 82.8% of its adult population with at least one dose and fully vaccinating 50.2%. 

(Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Editing by Miyoung Kim and Tom Hogue) ((sangmi.cha@thomsonreuters.com;))


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