Vietnam tests Covid-19 vaccine on mice

By Le Chi   May 3, 2020 | 01:00 am PT
Vietnam tests Covid-19 vaccine on mice
Medical staff test a potential coronavirus vaccine on a mouse at a laboratory in Khanh Hoa Province in central Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Ngoc.
A potential coronavirus vaccine developed by Vietnam and the U.K. is being tested on mice for two weeks before further evaluation.

The Covid-19 vaccine was developed after scientists successfully generated the novel coronavirus antigen in the lab, said Dr. Do Tuan Dat, President of the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 (VABIOTECH) in Hanoi. Antigen units are the most important ingredient in vaccine production, inducing the production of antibodies.

Dat said the vaccine will be tested further in animals and evaluated for safety and effectiveness before a manufacturing process is embarked on. 

The vaccine has been developed by collaborating scientists at VABIOTECH and the U.K.’s Bristol University.

A vaccine is said to be the most effective way to fight against a viral disease. Produced from weakened virus or a protein or other small "pieces" taken from it, a vaccine trains the body’s immune system to fight the disease it has not come into contact with before.

After testing the VABIOTECH vaccine in mice for two weeks, scientists will conduct blood tests on the animal, sending samples to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.

According to the institute, it will take at least 12-18 months to develop Covid-19 vaccine that can work safely on human.

There are currently no approved vaccines or medication for the Covid-19, which has killed nearly 245,000 people worldwide and infected almost 3.5 million.

Around 150 Covid-19 vaccine development projects are being conducted worldwide.

Human trials are underway at Oxford University in England for a coronavirus vaccine made from a chimpanzee virus, and in the U.S. for a different vaccine. In China, a firm is said to be ready for testing and mass production.

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