10 students volunteer for second Vietnam coronavirus vaccine trial

By Chi Le   January 21, 2021 | 12:09 am PT
10 students volunteer for second Vietnam coronavirus vaccine trial
Volunteers seek advice from medical staff before registering for the first phase of the human trials of Covivac vaccine, Hanoi, January 21, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Chi Le.
10 university students signed up Thursday to be vaccinated with Covivac in its first stage of human trials in February.

Covivac, produced by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, is the second Vietnamese-made vaccine to be tested on humans after receiving approval from the Health Ministry. The first was Nanocovax of Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC that had entered trials last month.

On Thursday morning, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi and Hanoi Medical University officially began recruiting for the first stage of trials that would require 120 volunteers aged 18-59 and without underlying health conditions, infectious diseases or allergies.

The first volunteers are students from the university who registered for participation after consultation with medical staff.

Hien, 27, a resident, decided to enroll in the human trial after learning about the procedure and potential risks of being vaccinated.

"So far, the side effects of Covid-19 vaccines are usually mild and not dangerous, so I don't feel worried. Besides, I am a medic, at high risk of being infected with the coronavirus. If I undergo the vaccine trial, I will develop antibodies against the virus," she said.

Duong, 19, a second-year student, feels a little sad since she has flu and may not be eligible for the trial. But she did her research very carefully, considering applying for a second phase of the clinical trial.

The volunteers will be divided into four groups, with each receiving four different vaccine dosages, while another group is injected with a placebo.

Each group would receive two intramuscular injections of the vaccine, with an interval of 28 days.

Nguyen Ngo Quang, deputy head of the Administration of Science, Technology and Training under the health ministry, thanked volunteers for registering for the human clinical trials, which play an important part in the research and development of Covid-19 vaccines.

Trials for Nanocovax began with 60 volunteers split into three groups to be given two doses of 25 micrograms, 50 micrograms and 75 micrograms almost a month apart.

Some have received the second shot, which has proven safe and immunogenic and produces an immune response four to five times higher than the first, Vietnam Military Medical University stated.

Two other vaccines are under development by Vaccine and Biological Production Company No. 1 and the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals.

The ministry is in talks with British Covid-19 vaccine developers AstraZeneca and Oxford University to buy 30 million doses of their product. It is also seeking to buy from the U.S. (Pfizer), Russia (Sputnik V) and China.

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