Mar 23, 2021 / 16:58

Vietnam eyes launch of homemade Covid-19 vaccines in Q3

Nanocovax, the first made-in-Vietnam vaccine to have reached human trial stage, is expected to enter its third phase of human trials in May.

Vietnam expects to launch the first batch of locally-produced Covid-19 vaccines by the end of the third quarter of 2021, an official from the Ministry of Health has said.

 Vials of Nanocovax, a made-in-Vietnam Covid-19 vaccine. Photo: Tran Ha

Speaking at a meeting held in Hanoi on March 22, Quang said four Vietnamese vaccines are currently in development, produced by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), Vaccine and Biological Production Company No.1 (Vabiotech) and the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals (Polyvac).

Nanocovax is expected to enter its third phase of human trials in May. If all goes well, the third phase would complete by the end of the third quarter, three months earlier than scheduled.

Meanwhile, the first injections of the first phase of human trials on Vietnam’s second homegrown candidate vaccine Covivac, developed by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), were made on March 15.

The first phase of human trials on the country’s third homegrown candidate vaccine, developed by Vabiotech, is hoped to begin in April. Its edge lies in the fact it utilizes recombinant viral vectors, allowing it to be quickly modified if needed to combat new variants.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who is head of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, hailed efforts made by the ministries of Health and Science and Technology, and vaccine research and development units.

He requested extra efforts to speed up domestically-developed vaccine research and production.

Quanng stressed that it would not allow to import Covid-19 vaccines by private entities.

Vietnam rolled out its mass Covid-19 vaccination campaign earlier this month, prioritized for frontline workers in the Covid-19 fight. As of Tuesday, over 36,000 Vietnamese have received their first shots of a Covid-19 vaccine produced by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca.

Although Vietnam has been relatively successful in containing Covid-19, the government is bracing for a possible new wave of the pandemic for fear of the havoc it causes.