The country would like to get the patent so it can produce vaccines for its own people, for other countries and for Covax, the ministry said in a statement. It is not known which vaccine Vietnam wants to produce.
In May, talks were held between Vietnam and Russia over the production of Sputnik V vaccines, but no deal was announced.
Vietnam, which has more than 98 million inhabitants, has received only 2.9 million doses of a vaccine against Covid-19. This places it far behind other Southeast Asian countries in the vaccination campaign. “We hope that the Covax program will speed up the delivery of vaccines to Vietnam,” said Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long.
Vietnam is currently battling an upsurge in the epidemic. After a month without any infection, local cases reappeared on April 27. More than 4,000 infections have been reported since then.
The Department of Health said on Saturday it had discovered a new variant of the coronavirus, which exhibits characteristics of both the British and Indian variants. The new hybrid variant is very contagious through the air.
Since the start of the pandemic, Vietnam has recorded 7,321 cases of infection with the coronavirus and 47 deaths.