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U.S. donates 3 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses to Vietnam

·1 min read

WASHINGTON, July 22 (Reuters) - The U.S. government will send 3 million more doses of the Moderna Inc COVID-19 vaccine to Vietnam on Thursday, bringing total donations to the Southeast Asian country to 5 million, a White House official said.

The next batch of shots is due to arrive in Vietnam this weekend as the country battles its worst coronavirus outbreak of the pandemic.

After successfully containing the virus for much of the pandemic, Vietnam is now seeing a surge in daily infections to record levels. The Ministry of Health reported 5,357 new infections on Wednesday, up from 4,795 cases on Tuesday. The country has recorded 68,177 infections and 370 deaths overall.

The latest COVID-19 vaccine doses heading to Vietnam are part of an initial pledge by President Joe Biden to donate 80 million vaccine doses to countries around the world.

Washington has also pledged to purchase 500 million Pfizer- BioNTech vaccines to distribute to the African Union and 92 low and lower middle-income countries.

"We will continue to do all we can to build a world that is safer and more secure against the threat of infectious disease," the official said. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)