Vietnam aims for homegrown cancer vaccine

By Viet Tuan   October 26, 2022 | 11:24 pm PT
Vietnam aims for homegrown cancer vaccine
A cancer patient is treated at the HCMC Oncology Hospital 2 in Thu Duc City, May 13, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Vietnam will promote R&D into new technologies combined with traditional methods to produce a cancer vaccine, according to a government decision.

According to a national program to ensure vaccine supplies until 2030 approved by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam on Tuesday, Vietnam will produce 10 types of vaccine by 2025, including the 5-in-1 vaccine, which is being given to all infants to provide protection against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), polio and Hib disease (Haemophilus influenzae type B).

By 2030, Vietnam will produce 15 types of vaccine, including one to prevent cancer.

To promote the production of vaccines, specific policies will be issued, and regulations on licensing, bidding, procurement, and supply deployed.

The government promises to support the transfer of new technologies in research and production of vaccines. Domestic and foreign experts on vaccine production will also be trained.

In addition, Vietnam will attract investment and support from countries and international organizations in human resource training, studying and mastering technology to produce vaccines against emerging, dangerous, highly infectious diseases or not yet included in the Expanded Immunization Program.

The national expanded program on immunization is providing immunization to 12 vaccine-preventable diseases in Vietnam.

Current compulsory vaccines used in the program include those for hepatitis B, tuberculosis, diphtheria, whooping-cough, tetanus combination vaccines, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type B, measles, Japanese B encephalitis, rubella, cholera and typhoid fever.

Le Van Quang, director of K Hospital in Hanoi, a leading medical facility for treating cancer in northern Vietnam, said more than 300,000 Vietnamese people are living with cancer. In 2020, 122,000 people had died of the disease.

Every year, the average cancer death rate in Vietnam is 73.5% compared to the global average rate of 59.7%, heard an international conference held in Hanoi this August.

According to data from the Global Cancer Observatory in August, Vietnam's new cancer incidence rate in 2020 rose nine places to the 90th position out of 185 countries, with 165,000 new cases recorded in 2018 and 182,000 in 2020. The cancer death rate rose six places to 50th out of 185 countries after two years.

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