Vietnam targets August start for mass Covid-19 vaccine production

By Hoang Thuy   April 9, 2021 | 07:33 am PT
Vietnam targets August start for mass Covid-19 vaccine production
A woman gets a shot of Nanocovax as part of the second phase of its human trials in Hanoi at the Vietnam Military Medical University, March 25, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Chi Le.
Vietnam could start mass production of its own Covid-19 vaccine in August if a three-phase human trial is completed in May.

As scheduled, the third phase of the human trial of the Nanocovax vaccine developed by the HCMC-based Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, will be completed within May in coordination with the Vietnam Military Medical University under the Ministry of National Defense.

Three months from then, which is August, Vietnam could start the mass production of this vaccine to inoculate its citizens, Major General Nguyen Xuan Kien, head of the ministry’s Military Medical Department said a press conference on Friday.

A total of 560 people were involved in the second phase of the Nanocovax human trials that started in February, following the end of the first phase, which commenced last December with 60 volunteers.

The third phase, slated for May, will inject a pool of 10,000-15,000 volunteers.

The first phase is to determine the safety of the vaccine and the side effects on the body and the second one would allow researchers to see how exactly immunogenic Nanocovax is, Kien said.

"Hopefully, three months from the third trial phase, by August, we will have our own vaccine to inject soldiers and fellow citizens to proactively prevent the pandemic," he said.

Vietnam currently has four domestic Covid-19 vaccines under development and trial. These are produced by Nanogen, 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.

The government has also approved AstraZeneca's ChAdOx1 vaccine and Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use.

While speeding up trials and production of indigenous vaccines, the country is looking to procure around 150 million doses towards covering 70 percent of its population by 2022.

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