Vietnam to test Covid-19 nasal spray vaccine

By Chi Le   April 2, 2022 | 01:00 am PT
Vietnam to test Covid-19 nasal spray vaccine
Vials of a Covid-19 nasal spray vaccine made in China. Photo courtesy of Xiamen University
The Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang is recruiting 3,000 volunteers aged 18 and older to test a nasal spray form of Covid-19 vaccine.

Trinh Thi Bich Thuy, director of the Center for Training, Research Management and International Cooperation under the institute in central Nha Trang Town, said Friday the recruitment will last until the end of this month.

She said the vaccine being tested is made in China and produced via viral vector vaccine technology, which uses a modified version of a virus that is different from that being targeted to deliver important instructions to human cells.

The volunteers must be those that have yet to contract Covid-19, have no chronic diseases and are in stable health. Their latest Covid-19 vaccine shot must have been administered at least three months ago.

Volunteers will be given the vaccine or a placebo twice, 14 days apart.

Later, they will have their health monitored over a year via four different health checks, and receive aid of VND600,000 ($26) for each checkup.

This is the first time Vietnam clinically tests a Covid-19 nasal spray vaccine. The vaccine has been reviewed by the Ministry of Health’s Ethical Evaluation Committee in Biomedical Research.

"This vaccine has been tested in phases 1 and 2, proven its safety and ability to generate immunity. The third trial phase will occur in Vietnam, Colombia, the Philippines, South Africa and Indonesia," said Thuy.

She hopes that the vaccine would be "well studied and successfully registered" in Vietnam, thereby adding more booster shot options.

The Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang is one of two Pasteur institutes in Vietnam, with the other in Ho Chi Minh City. Established during the French colonization of Vietnam, it is now operating directly under the authority of the Health Ministry.

According to CGTN, an international English-language Chinese state-run cable TV news service based in Beijing, the spray vaccine was studied and developed by the University of Hong Kong, Xiamen University and Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy.

Chinese authorities approved clinical trials of the vaccine in September 2020.

So far there has only been a few spray vaccines in the world, produced by AstraZeneca, Oxford University in the U.K., China (Ad5-nCoV) and Russia (Sputnik V). All of them are still in trial phase.

Scientists at the University of British Columbia and Cornell University have studied a nasal spray to treat Covid-19 and announced that it is effective on mice.

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