24.03.2021, 14:18

Vietnam expects to have locally made Covid-19 vaccines in Q3

Vietnam expects to have locally made Covid-19 vaccines in Q3

A volunteer is injected with the Covivac vaccine during the first clinical trial of the vaccine. Vietnam expects to have locally made Covid-19 vaccines in the third quarter of 2021 – PHOTO: MINISTRY OF HEALTH

HCMC – Vietnamese-made Covid-19 vaccines are expected to be available in the third quarter of this year, a representative of the Ministry of Health said at a meeting on March 22.

According to Nguyen Ngo Quang, deputy director of the Technological Science and Training Department under the Ministry of Health, Vietnam is developing a number of Covid-19 vaccines including Nano Covax, Covivac and Vabiotech.

The Nano Covax vaccine developed by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC has finished its first stage of the clinical trial, proving to be safe and effective against different coronavirus variants.

The second stage of clinical trial is expected to be completed in late April and the third stage is scheduled to begin in early May. If the second and third stages are successful, the vaccine will be available at the end of the third quarter, three months earlier than the initial plan.

The Covivac vaccine of the Khanh Hoa-based Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) is undergoing the first stage of clinical trial. It is developed by IVAC in collaboration with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, University of Texas in Austin and the PATH nonprofit organization.

Based on initial results, the Ministry of Health and some experts said the Covivac vaccine is of very good quality and it is expected to be inexpensive.

Meanwhile, Vaccine and Biological Production No. 1 Co., Ltd. (Vabiotech) has planned to begin the first stage of clinical trial of its vaccine early next month.

Quang said the production of local Covid-19 vaccines meets strict standards without skipping any necessary steps.

Chairing the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said the Government will support local vaccine manufacturers to conduct the third stage of clinical trial in foreign countries.

“Vietnam has a population of some 100 million. Therefore, by all means we have to have Vietnamese-made vaccines to fight off Covid-19 and prepare for future outbreaks,” he said.

In related news, a leader of the Ministry of Health said private companies are not allowed to import Covid-19 vaccines to Vietnam.

According to Resolution No. 26 of the Government, the Ministry of Health is in charge of collaborating with other ministries, departments and localities to purchase, import and deliver Covid-19 vaccines.

The ministry is working directly with Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers across the world to receive or purchase the vaccines. Only businesses assigned by the ministry are allowed to import the Covid-19 vaccines.

Vietnam’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign was launched on March 8, starting with more than 117,000 doses of the vaccine provided by British drugmaker AstraZeneca. Up to now, vaccination has been conducted in 16 cities and provinces nationwide.