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Vietnam's Covid-19 vaccine effective on variants: university

By Phan Anh   February 9, 2021 | 12:30 am PT
Vietnam's Covid-19 vaccine effective on variants: university
A medical worker holds up two vials of Nanocovax, a Vietnamese Covid-19 vaccine, on December 17, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Nanocovax, a Vietnamese Covid-19 vaccine, is said to have an effect on coronavirus variants following the first phase of human trials, according to Vietnam Military Medical University.

The first phase of human trials for Nanocovax, which began last December, recently ended with 120 vaccine shots administered to 60 volunteers. The volunteers were split into three groups to be injected with three vaccine doses: 25 micrograms, 50 micrograms and 75 micrograms in two shots, 28 days apart.

Preliminary findings revealed Nanocovax shots are safe, generate high immune response and have an effect on coronavirus variants, the government news portal on Tuesday cited Vietnam Military Medical University under the Ministry of National Defense, which oversaw the trials.

Most volunteers have enjoyed stable health following the shots. Some side effects include pain at the site of injection or light fever. Further analysis is underway to determine the proper doses for the second phase of human trials, expected to begin after the Lunar New Year Festival in mid-February and involve 560 volunteers committed for six months.

Vietnam has recorded the presence of at least two coronavirus variants so far: one originated from the U.K. and the other from South Africa. The U.K. variant, believed to be up to 70 percent more transmissible than ordinary strains, was deemed responsible for outbreaks that started in the northern Quang Ninh and Hai Duong Provinces late last month.

Vietnam is currently working on four Covid-19 vaccines produced by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, the Vaccine and Biological Production Company No. 1 and the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals.

Covivac of the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals is expected to commence human trials after the Lunar New Year Festival.

Besides producing domestic vaccines, Vietnam also reached a deal to receive 30 million doses of a vaccine produced by AstraZeneca, a British–Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Cambridge, the U.K., within the first half of this year. The country is also stepping up negotiations with the U.S.’s Pfizer and Moderna, along with other vaccine manufacturers in Russia and China.

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