Vietnam vaccine regulatory system gets high WHO ranking

By Phan Anh   April 8, 2021 | 06:00 am PT
Vietnam vaccine regulatory system gets high WHO ranking
Officials from the Ministry of Health visit the storage area for AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in HCMC, February 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
The WHO has ranked Vietnam’s National Regulatory Authority (NRA) on vaccine regulation at maturity level 3 on a four-level rating scale.

The ranking was based on the WHO Global Benchmarking Tool (GBT), which uses different functions and criteria to ensure the quality, safety and effectiveness of vaccines on the market.

In accordance with the GBT, the maturity level rises from one to four: level 1 indicates a national regulatory system in its infancy; level 2 indicates a developing system with essential managerial functions; level 3 a stable, effective and synchronized system; and level 4 a system working at the highest efficiency and is continually being developed.

Kidong Park, WHO representative in Vietnam, said the ranking reflects effective and constant cooperation between the Vietnamese government and the WHO on access for safe, effective and cost-friendly vaccines.

Under its national immunization program, Vietnam has been able to produce 11 types of vaccines against as many diseases: tuberculosis, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis, cholera, typhoid, measles, rubella, and polio. It has also produced vaccines for seasonal flu, the H5N1 virus and the rotavirus.

The country is developing four Covid-19 vaccines: one by the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC; another by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals; another by the Vaccine and Biological Production Company No. 1; and the fourth by the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals. Two of these are now undergoing human trials.

The country aims to secure 150 million doses to vaccinate 70 percent of its population.

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