HANOI: Vietnam has approved Cuba's Abdala vaccine for use against the coronavirus, the government said on Saturday (Sep 18), as the Southeast Asian country is battling its worst outbreak.
Abdala becomes the eighth COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Vietnam, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the region, with only 6.3 per cent of its 98 million people having received at least two shots.
The announcement came hours after President Nguyen Xuan Phuc left Hanoi for an official visit to Havana.
Vietnam has recorded 667,650 coronavirus infections and 16,637 deaths, the vast majority in the Delta-driven outbreak from late April.
"The ministry of health has approved Abdala vaccine, based on the country's urgent need for its COVID-19 fight," the government said in a statement.
The ministry last month said Cuba would supply large quantities of Abdala to Vietnam and transfer the production technology by the end of the year.
In June, Cuba said its three-shot Abdala vaccine had proved 92.28 per cent effective in last-stage clinical trials.