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Made-in-Vietnam Covid-19 vaccine may be ready by end-2021
Anh Kiet 16:40, 2020/08/14
The health ministry has asked the manufacturers and research agencies to speed up the production of Covid-19 vaccines.

Vietnam expects domestically-produced Covid-19 vaccines will be ready for use by the end of 2021, VnExpress quoted Doctor Nguyen Thu Van, director of Program of Development of Vaccines for Humans under the Ministry of Health (MoH), as saying.

Such a progress is fast taking into account that it usually takes five to six years for a qualified vaccine, Van said.

 Mice for Covid-19 vaccine candidates in Vietnam is carried out at Vabiotech. Photo: Giang Huy

Four vaccine manufacturers and research agencies in Vietnam namely Vabiotech, Polyvac, Ivac, and Nanogen are in a race for vaccines against Covid-19.

In particular, Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 (Vabiotech) under the Ministry of Health (Vabiotech) is using recombinant technology, also known as virus vector for vaccine development. Vabiotech has tested vaccine on mice and reported positive signs of immunogenicity results.

In the next phase, the candidate will be developed into a complete, stable vaccine that will meet human trial standards in 2021.

Meanwhile, the Research Center for Vaccine Production and Medical Biologicals (POLYVAC), which also researches vaccine production using the virus vector technology, is waiting for the Ministry of Science and Technology to approve the research project and then hold a bio-bidding.

For its part, Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Joint Stock Company is developing a vaccine using recombinant technology and has successfully studied sub-unit candidate which based on the S gene of the coronavirus strain in China’s Wuhan and the mutant strain D614G.

The Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) is using the NDV-Lasota-S strain provided by the US, which is an inactivated vaccine candidate with high safety. The results of pre-clinical trial on animal will be available in August.

Inactivated vaccine technology has been used in previous vaccines such as the pertussis vaccine. The vaccine is made from microorganisms or viruses that have been inactivated or killed but remain antigenic

Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has asked the manufacturers and research agencies to speed up the production of Covid-19 vaccines, shorten the manufacturing and licensing process to gain qualified Covid-19 vaccines as soon as possible.

The Ministry of Health is also preparing investment projects such as the Vaccine Fund, so that people can access and use the vaccines, Mr. Long added.

"We need a Covid-19 vaccine soon, which would be clinically tested on humans by the end of 2020," the acting health minister said.

Dr. Do Tuan Dat, director of Vabiotech, said that no stages in the research and actual production of vaccines will be ignored to ensure the safest vaccine for people.

Vabiotech also monitored the vaccine research results in the world to compare, learn from and apply to Vietnamese vaccines, Dat stressed.

Vietnam is currently among 42 countries in the world that can manufacture the stock used in its own national expanded immunization program.

It is also among 38 nations working to create their own vaccines that adhere to the standards of the World Health Organization’s standards.

As of August 14, Vietnam has recorded 911 Covid-19 cases nationwide so far, of which 430 have recovered and 21 died.

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