PM requests 'special priority' for Covid-19 vaccine production in Vietnam

By Viet Tuan   July 24, 2021 | 12:56 am PT
PM requests 'special priority' for Covid-19 vaccine production in Vietnam
Vials of Vietnamese Covid-19 vaccine Nanocovax at a factory of Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC in HCMC, June 23, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh urged prioritizing the production of Vietnamese Covid-19 vaccines, with the support of private firms.

The PM told a government meeting Friday that Vietnam "cannot keep relying on foreign sources of Covid-19 vaccines forever."

In the coming time, related units have to "give special priority to the fastest and earliest domestic production of vaccines."

However, he noted the process must ensure the safety of people's health and lives and follow scientific, practical and legal principles and regulations.

The Ministries of Health and Justice are assigned to "urgently complete necessary contents and procedures to submit to the legislative National Assembly for consideration and settlement of legal issues raised in domestic vaccine production."

Relevant units have to provide maximum support to manufacturers in assessing the immunogenicity of vaccines. "This task could not be entirely left to manufacturers," said Chinh.

The Ministry of Finance has to regulate specific and clear regulations and conditions for private companies to receive funding support for studying, testing and producing made-in-Vietnam vaccines, he said.

A special working group of the Health Ministry must coordinate with experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) in evaluating clinical trials and developing vaccines. "Give special priority to this step," he urged.

Government leaders also suggested agencies "create favorable conditions and provide maximum support" for technology transfer in vaccine production.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam noted with technology transfer, it is necessary to guarantee raw production materials.

The quality and effectiveness of domestic Covid-19 vaccines must be objectively and transparently evaluated by professional agencies and councils "to have a scientific basis to decide whether to grant a permit for emergency use," Dam said.

For its vaccine strategy, Vietnam has boosted imports and vaccine diplomacy to gain access to as many foreign vaccine sources in the fastest way possible, promoting research and technology transfers, as well as domestic production, the leaders said.

The nation currently has two homegrown vaccines near completion: Nanocovax by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, of which the third and final phase of human trials is expected to finish in August, and Covivac by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), expected to enter the second phase of human trials within this month.

Vietnam has obtained nearly 8.6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines via global vaccine access mechanism Covax and support from other governments.

The nation has so far vaccinated more than 4.41 million of its 96-million population against Covid-19, but only 334,560 have gotten two doses.

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