Vietnam approves Pfizer Covid vaccine for emergency use

By Le Nga   June 12, 2021 | 05:17 am PT
Vietnam approves Pfizer Covid vaccine for emergency use
A vial and syringe are seen in front of a displayed Pfizer logo in this illustration taken January 11, 2021. Photo by Reuters/Dado Ruvic.
Vietnam has approved the emergency use of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by U.S.-based firm Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech Inc., the Ministry of Health announced Saturday.

The vaccine called Comirnaty is developed from the messenger RNA or mRNA, which contains the instructions for human cells to construct a harmless piece of the coronavirus called the spike protein.

Pfizer Vietnam suggested for the vaccine to be approved, with the green light given by Deputy Health Minister Tran Van Thuan on Saturday, making it the fourth coronavirus vaccine allowed in Vietnam after the U.K.'s AstraZeneca, Russia's Generium and China's Sinopharm.

Based on evidence from clinical trials among people aged 16 years and older, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 95 percent effective and requires two doses given 21 days apart, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The health ministry said Pfizer Vietnam is responsible for cooperating with vaccine manufacturers to ensure its production, safety and quality.

The company will also cooperate with the Administration of Science, Technology and Training under the health ministry to evaluate the vaccine's safety and effectiveness, and with the National Institute for Control of Vaccines and Biologicals to evaluate the jab by providing samples and other relevant materials, before the vaccine could be put into use.

Earlier, the ministry stated it had secured a deal to get 31 million Pfizer vaccine doses this year.

Vietnam is also among 92 countries and territories the U.S. will donate Pfizer–BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine shots to by June of next year, the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi said Friday.

Vietnam has been using the AstraZeneca vaccine for its inoculation program, under which over 1.3 million people have gotten shots so far.

It aims to secure 150 million vaccine doses this year to cover 70 percent of its population.

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