Healthy mice mark 'initial success' for Vietnamese Covid-19 vaccine

By Chi Le   May 7, 2020 | 08:00 pm GMT+7
Healthy mice mark 'initial success' for Vietnamese Covid-19 vaccine
A technician works on producing a Vietnamese vaccine for Covid-19. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Health.

50 mice in the lab remain healthy 10 days after being administered a Covid-19 vaccine produced in Vietnam.

The latest vaccine has been developed by collaborating scientists at the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 (VABIOTECH) and the U.K.’s Bristol University.

Dr. Do Tuan Dat, President of VABIOTECH in Hanoi, said: "This is initial success in developing a Covid-19 vaccine in Vietnam."

Dat said that during the testing phase, researchers experimented by injecting the mice in many ways and administering multiple antigen doses, with some mice injected with one or two doses of 3-10 micrograms each.

After 10 days, the mice are in good health and being closely monitored for immune responses, he said.

Over the next four or five days, researchers will send the mice’s blood samples to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology for first evaluation and the second in the next 14 days.

This is an important stage of research on the Covid-19 vaccine in Vietnam. If the test is successful on mice, the research team will take their work further and seek funding from international agencies.

According to Dat, the main ingredient in the vaccine is a strain carrying Covid-19 antigens that scientists successfully generated in the lab and tested on other animals with good results. "So it is reasonable to expect the vaccine given to mice is also safe," he said.

After gaining positive results with immune response and antibody production, researchers will continue to develop complete vaccines and production technologies on many different scales, he added.

The institute estimates it will take at least 12-18 months to develop a Covid-19 vaccine that can work safely on humans.

A vaccine is generally considered the most effective way to fight a viral disease.

There are currently no approved vaccines or medication for the Covid-19, which has killed more than 265,600 people worldwide and infected more than 3.8 million.

Around 150 Covid-19 vaccine development projects are being conducted worldwide.

In the past, Vietnamese scientists also studied and developed a number of effective vaccines, including the polio vaccine, the oral cholera vaccine, and the H5N1 bird flu vaccine.      

Vietnam recorded 17 new Covid-19 patients on Thursday evening, all Vietnamese repatriated from the UAE. The additions raised Vietnam's infection tally to 288. Of these, 233 have recovered and been discharged and 55 are still under treatment.

 
 
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