After more than a month with no local infections, Vietnam is working to contain several outbreaks that have spread to 19 provinces and cities over the past two weeks. Many activities have been banned, streets are noticeably quiet, and the government extended the quarantine period for anyone arriving in the country to three weeks. At the same time, more than nine million Americans residing outside the United States face a predicament, watching the country’s successful inoculation drive, many from places like Vietnam where vaccination has scarcely begun.
With all stateside American adults due to be eligible to receive a vaccine as early as this week, some expats have already opted to travel home for the jab. Others are calling on the government to direct some of the hundreds of millions of doses it is projected to have left over to its overseas citizens, wherever they happen to live.
President Biden has repeatedly stated that the US will share its excess supply only after the needs of Americans are met. Why, some overseas Americans are wondering, should they be left out? The answer to that question is more than just a logistical matter. It comes down to what responsibility, if any, the US government has to its overseas citizens. The US is unusual among most countries in that it taxes citizens regardless of where they live in the world. All US citizens, regardless of where they live, are also eligible to vote. So as taxpayers and voters, don’t we have a legitimate claim to the US government’s aid in a public-health crisis? Unfortunately, the US government has no plans to provide vaccinations for private citizens overseas, even though they have already provided vaccine to the American and Vietnamese staff at the Embassy in Hanoi and the Consulate in HCMC.
Given this scenario, what options exist for Americans living in Vietnam to access reliable vaccines? What plans or options exist for American-based companies and organizations that want to purchase/provide vaccines to their Vietnamese team members? As Vietnam ramps-up its vaccine rollout, will foreigners have an opportunity to be vaccinated? Join AmCham’s virtual meeting on Wednesday morning for an update on the Covid situation in Vietnam and an open discussion vaccine issues and priorities.
This virtual meeting will utilize the Microsoft Teams platform and there is no cost to participate. Discussion will be facilitated by the AmCham Executive Director. Please register your participation by clicking on the button below or by calling the AmCham office (84) 24 3934 2790.