By Teddy Cambosa

Following Vietnam president Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s departure for a presidential visit to Cuba, the country has approved the use of the Abdala vaccine, developed by Cuba’s Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.

Image/Robert Herriman

The approval was for emergency authorized administration purposes.

“The ministry of health has approved the Abdala vaccine, based on the country’s urgent need for its COVID-19 fight,” the government said in a statement.

Vietnam’s health ministry said that Cuba would supply large quantities of Abdala to Vietnam and transfer the production technology by the end of the year.

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To date, Vietnam has recorded 667,650 coronavirus infections and 16,637 deaths, the vast majority in the Delta-driven outbreak from late April.

Abdala becomes the eighth COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Vietnam, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the region, as it is estimated that only 6.3% of its 98 million people have received at least two shots of any vaccine.

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Teddy Cambosa is a graduating BS Biology student and a former campus journalist at Batangas State University