Vietnam hopes to have no shortage of Covid vaccines from 2022

By Viet Tuan   April 7, 2021 | 12:09 am PT
Vietnam hopes to have no shortage of Covid vaccines from 2022
An employee of Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC holds up two vials of Nanocovax, a Covid-19 vaccine produced by Nanogen, in HCMC, December 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Vietnam aims to secure enough Covid-19 vaccines for its population starting next year through both local production and imports.

The Ministry of Health makes this proposal in the draft of a decision to be promulgated by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on developing Covid-19 vaccines.

It calls for speeding up research, trial and production of vaccines in Vietnam and tying up with foreign vaccine producers for either technology transfer or import.

The ministry will be responsible for amending policies to reduce the vaccine trial period and confer approval.

Once trials prove successful, plans for vaccine production and funding plans will be made.

Currently four indigenous Covid vaccines are being developed by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), Vaccine and Biological Production Company No. 1 (Vabiotech), and the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals.

Pre-clinical trials by Nanogen, IVAC and Vabiotech have showed the vaccines are safe for use on animals and are immunogenic.

Nanocovax, the vaccine produced by Nanogen, is in the second phase of human trials, while IVAC’s Covivac is in its first phase.

Vabiotech’s vaccine is expected to have its first and second phases of human trials approved in July.

The ministry's proposal warns that a lack of resources and difficulty to gain access to required technologies or ingredients necessary are possible obstacles to moving from research to production.

Vietnam has already been using the vaccine made by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca, with around 54,000 people getting their first shot so far, mostly frontline workers in the fight against the pandemic.

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