23.07.2020, 11:36

Vietnam plans Covid-19 vaccine human testing this year

Vietnam plans to carry out the first human trials of a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of this year so the country may officially put the vaccine into use in 2021.

The information was given at a meeting held by the Ministry of Health to create legal frameworks for the research, production, trial and licensing of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Four companies in Vietnam are producing Covid-19 vaccines with positive testing results on animals.

The Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 has piloted its Covid-19 vaccines on mice with promising outcomes.

The vaccine produced by the National Institute for Vaccines and Biologicals has been sent to the US for a toxicity assessment after being tested on animals. The vaccine is planned to be tested on humans for the first time later this year. The second test would be conducted in early 2021 and once successful, the vaccine could be formally placed in service in July next year.

The Ministry of Health is building a draft to shorten legal procedures for Covid-19 vaccine research and production.

Nguyen Ngo Quang, deputy head of the Department of Science, Technology and Training under the Ministry of Health, said that for instance clinical vaccine research would be reduced to just 10 days compared to around two months previously. The time for approving the vaccine testing would be cut down to one month instead of three months.

“Time is a very crucial factor in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The vaccine production needs to be sped up by simplifying some administrative steps. The government and the Ministry of Health are willing to support positive research,” said Managing Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long.

Long said that the simplification is only related to administrative procedures, not scientific aspects. Producers still had to ensure the efficiency of the vaccine.

“If the world has Covid-19 vaccines, the question is that when Vietnam can access them. So, it is important to prioritise domestic production. I believe that Vietnam will produce a Covid-19 vaccine as we have experience and international co-operation,” Long emphasised.