Head of the MoH’s Drug Administration Vu Tuan Cuong told Hanoitimes on the process of licensing Covid-19 vaccines import into Vietnam.
|Head of the MoH’s Drug Administration Vu Tuan Cuong. Photo: Tran Minh|
Could you provide information on the procedure of importing Covid-19 vaccines into Vietnam?
Vietnam’s National Regulatory Authority (NRA) has obtained the Maturity Level 3 for vaccine regulation, the second-highest level in the World Health Organization (WHO)’s four-level NRA rating scale.
The fact that the Drug Administration of Vietnam published a list of 36 entities meeting requirements for importing vaccines into Vietnam is in compliance with WHO’s instructions.
In MoH’s latest instruction, we encourage all localities, businesses and individuals that have access to Covid-19 vaccine supplies to bring vaccines into Vietnam, while the MoH would provide support for import procedures.
For vaccines validated by the WHO for emergency use, including those from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Sinopharm, Johnson&Johnson, the MoH would need five working days to process the import request after having received all required documents and an official authorization letter from a vaccine manufacturer.
Regarding vaccines approved by other countries but not added to WHO’s list for emergency use, the processing time would be 10 working days with similar conditions.
For enterprises that do not have experience in vaccine import, we suggest they contact qualified vaccine importers or the Drug Administration of Vietnam for support. If they are unable to carry out the vaccination process, the MoH would instruct health units to take over the work.
For provinces/cities having access to Covid-19 vaccines, the MoH is willing to assist them in importing vaccines and subsequent administration process.
Could you clarify the licensing time for vaccine imports?
If we receive sufficient documents, we will initiate the licensing process for emergency use from five to ten working days. At present, all procedures related to licensing and importing Covid-19 vaccines have been simplified to create the utmost convenience for vaccine importers.
However, we advise those looking to import vaccines should verify the origin and quality of vaccines to avoid potential frauds.
Has the MoH so far received any request for vaccine imports?
We have not received any official request for vaccine import from localities or enterprises.
To date, the MoH, and particularly the Drug Administration of Vietnam, has timely processed all requests for vaccine imports under the COVAX Facility and of AstraZeneca Vietnam, at the same time instructing foreign embassies to apply for vaccine imports via non-commercial route.
The MoH has approved certain vaccines for emergency use, including those from AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, Sinopharm, and Pfizer.
We are expecting to approve vaccines from Moderna and Johnson&Johnson in the near future.
Thank you for your time!