A plane carrying 1 million coronavirus virus vaccine doses donated by Japan arrived in Vietnam's capital Hanoi on Wednesday night, with the country's health minister expressing gratitude for the goodwill gesture.

Vietnam has been battling a surge in virus cases since late April as variants make their way into the country, but it has struggled to secure vaccine doses, with less than 2 percent of its population having received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot so far.

Coronavirus vaccine doses shipped from Japan arrive in Vietnam's capital Hanoi on June 16, 2021. (Kyodo)

Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long indicated the donated vaccine, developed by Britain's AstraZeneca Plc, will be distributed mainly in Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam where cases are increasing.

Vietnam had confirmed 11,635 infections as of Wednesday, but about 70 percent of them were confirmed in May or later.

Japan donated 1.24 million AstraZeneca shots to Taiwan earlier in the month.

Tokyo is also considering donating COVID-19 vaccines to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand in July, according to Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.

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