SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea said on Wednesday it would donate more than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Vietnam next month in what would become the northern Asian country’s first direct cross-border sharing of its vaccine stockpiles.
Vietnam, which serves as a major manufacturing hub for many South Korean companies including technology company Samsung Electronics, has fully vaccinated only about 7% of its 98 million people, one of Asia’s lowest inoculation rates.
The announcement by South Korea’s presidential office came hours after President Moon Jae-in met with Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
South Korea’s Vice Health Minister Kang Do-tae declined to disclose the vaccine brand when asked during a Wednesday briefing.
South Korea, which also struggled to get vaccine supplies initially, has supercharged its campaign in recent months, inoculating 82.8% of its adult population with at least one dose and fully vaccinating 50.2%.
(Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Editing by Miyoung Kim and Tom Hogue)