Japan may send coronavirus vaccines to Vietnam

The Japanese government is considering a plan to provide coronavirus vaccines to Vietnam after the country requested help to boost its lagging rollout.

Surveys by Oxford University researchers and others show that just over 1 percent of Vietnam's population had received at least one dose as of Thursday. The figure is the lowest among the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Japan wants to send vaccines as early as this month, without going through an international distribution framework, which officials say would take longer.

The Japanese government has a policy to send any surplus stocks overseas. The country donated about 1.2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Taiwan on Friday.