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Vietnam approves Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine as daily cases hit record

FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled “COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine” and sryinge are seen in front of displayed Johnson&Johnson logo in this illustration taken, February 9, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

HANOI (Reuters) -Vietnam on Thursday approved Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday for emergency use, as the country tries to boost supplies at a time of record numbers of new infections.

The approval of the vaccine, the sixth brand to be endorsed in the Southeast Asian country, is part of Vietnam’s efforts to expedite its inoculations programme amid its worst outbreak so far.

Vietnam reported a record 3,416 new cases on Thursday, its biggest daily increase and above Wednesday’s record high of 2,934. Most of those are in Ho Chi Minh City, the epicentre, which has been under stricter movement curbs since last week.

The health ministry said it had clinched deals and commitments for 124 million doses of various types of coronavirus vaccines to be delivered by the end of the year.

The country has so far received nearly 9 million doses, most of which are made by AstraZeneca. Fewer than 300,000 people in the country are fully vaccinated with two shots.

Vietnam has recorded 40,850 infections and 207 deaths overall – very low figures compared with many countries. Most of the cases have been reported since May.

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