Vietnam, Johnson & Johnson negotiate Covid vaccine supply, tech transfer

By Le Nga   June 4, 2021 | 12:40 am PT
Vietnam, Johnson & Johnson negotiate Covid vaccine supply, tech transfer
Empty vials of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus disease vaccine are seen at a vaccination center in Ronda, Spain, April 23, 2021. Photo by Reuters/Jon Nazca.
The Ministry of Health is in negotiation with the American pharmaceutical firm Johnson & Johnson to import its Covid-19 vaccines to Vietnam.

Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said at a teleconference Friday with Johnson & Johnson he hoped the company has plans to supply its Covid-19 vaccine, as well as cooperate in refining and transferring vaccine production technologies to Vietnam so the country could build factories to manufacture vaccines.

Several Vietnamese businesses are looking to join the global vaccine supply chain, with Vietnam already experienced in producing its own vaccines, Long added.

A representative of Johnson & Johnson said the firm had already joined the global vaccine access mechanism Covax while pledging to supply 200 million vaccine doses until the end of this year. The firm would strive to hasten progress on vaccine distribution through Covax so Vietnam could get its doses as soon as possible, the representative added.

Johnson & Johnson has already had plans to file for approval of its Covid-19 vaccine for Vietnam, and said it would consider the possibility of transferring its vaccine production tech to the country.

The Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine is a viral vector vaccine, the same technique used to create the AstraZeneca vaccine. But unlike the AstraZeneca one, the Johnson & Johnson vacicne requires only one shot instead of two to be effective, with an efficacy of up to 85 percent in preventing severe cases of Covid-19.

Vietnam has been using a vaccine by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca for its Covid-19 inoculation program, under which over 1.1 million people have received shots since March 8.

On Thursday, it approved a Covid-19 vaccine by Sinopharm for emergency use, the third vaccine to be approved after Russia's Sputnik V and AstraZeneca’s.

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

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