Apr 07, 2021 / 21:17

Vietnam to cut research time of Covid-19 vaccines amid thin supply

Experts have said that the research time could be shortened as long as safety requirements remain unchanged.

Vietnam plans to shorten time required for the research of Covid-19 vaccines to meet the demand amid the global scarcity.

 Covid-19 vaccines in Vietnam. Photo: VGP

The move is estimated to take three months instead of six, aiming to speed up the production of homegrown kinds, according to the government's draft decision, which is now available for public ideas. 

Earlier in February, the idea of time cut was discussed among the government's leaders and health professionals. They said that the research time could be shortened as long as safety requirements remain unchanged. 

The plan follows good human trials on homegrown Covid-19 vaccines. 

The government will partly fund the research, trial and production of the vaccines. Other sources are from different economic sectors.

The human trials will be conducted at home and abroad.

With the new move, Vietnam expects to have enough Covid-19 vaccine in 2022 with a focus on homegrown kinds.

Under the plan, the Ministry of Health will facilitate the research, clinic trial, and production of the vaccines in the country.

It also boosts cooperation with foreign partners in technology transfer or importing semi-finished products.

Lack of technology or materials remains the biggest challenge for developing Covid-19 vaccines in Vietnam, the government said in the draft decision.

Vietnam has four Covid-19 vaccine candidates developed by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC (Nanogen), the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), the Vaccine and Biological Production Company No.1 and the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals.

Two out of four producers are conducting human trials. Of them, Nanogen, with Nanocovax vaccine, gets ready for the third trial while IVAC’s Covivac vaccine is in the first phase of clinical trial.

The interval between the shots depends on kinds of vaccines, varying between three and four weeks.

Earlier this month, the health ministry worked with India, Russia for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines.