EuroCham warns Vietnam of risk of ‘lagging behind’, suggests Hanoi to allow non-state immunization against COVID-19

Vaccination against COVID-19 in Hai Duong

Leaders of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) have urged Hanoi to allow private companies to purchase COVID-19 vaccines and self-immunize their employees amid the context Vietnam is struggling with the biggest outbreak since the pandemic began.

This will reduce the burden on the state budget and help speed up the government’s vaccination process,” European business leaders said in a statement released on May 28.

EuroCham said the association had just organized a consultation with member businesses on how the private sector could support the government’s vaccination program and surveyed the impact of the pandemic on operations of enterprises.

The results showed that 4 in 5 business leaders (79%) of the respondents agreed that businesses should be able to vaccinate their employees.

The request from European business leaders comes as Vietnam is trying to contain the largest outbreak ever, with the number of infected people reaching more than 3,200 people in 30 of its 63 provinces and cities since the end of April.

So far, Vietnam has injected more than 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine out of a total of 2.9 million doses received. With a population of more than 98 million people, Vietnam’s vaccination rate is considered to be much lower than vaccination rates in some neighboring countries, according to Reuters.

While Vietnam’s borders are closed, other countries are deploying vaccinations and reopening to the world,” EuroCham President Alain Cany said in the statement, warning that Vietnam is facing “real risk” is that it may be “left behind” if a mass vaccination program is not implemented quickly and on a large scale.

According to the leader of EuroCham, although Vietnam is considered as one of the leading countries in the world in preventing the spread of COVID-19, “this is not a long-term solution and it cannot continue to be a long-term solution for much longer without harming economic growth”.

EuroCham also encourages the Vietnamese government to relax the epidemic prevention regulations for investors and professionals who have been vaccinated in their country, because the current regulation of a three-week quarantine period for Foreigners coming to Vietnam will lead to fewer experts coming to Vietnam, thus affecting foreign investment and the operation of companies that depend on foreign technicians.

Earlier this week, the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Hanoi also urged Vietnam to ease the lengthy quarantine period for vaccinated travelers and allow the private sector to help buy vaccines.

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang on May 27 told the press that Vietnam is “researching and developing” a new set of “appropriate and effective” isolation guidelines for people entering Vietnam. (Translated)