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May 06, 2021 / 20:56

Japan to transfer Covid-19 vaccine production technologies to Vietnam

Vietnam is seeking to procure vaccine from different sources for its inoculation target of 70% population.

Japan is among some countries having pledged to transfer Covid-19 vaccine production technologies to Vietnam, a deputy health minister has said.

Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan at a meeting on May 5. Photo: Nhat Bac/VGP 

“I will fly to Japan for the detailed plan and Deputy Minister of Health Truong Quoc Cuong will go to Russia for vaccine technology purchase,” Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan said at a government meeting on May 5.

Early April, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long asked Japan’s embassy for help with technology transfer for vaccine production and testing in Vietnam.

In March 2021, Japan’s Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide pledged vaccine support for Vietnam in a phone talk with Secretary General of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong.

The moves are aimed to help Vietnam secure the supply of Covid-19 vaccines, as part of efforts to acquire 150 million doses needed to vaccinate its adult population.

In May 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners have pledged to transfer the latest vaccine production technologies to Vietnam and the health ministry will work with them for details, according to Thuan.

The technology pledged for transfer is mRNA-vaccine one. According to the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. The mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein – or even just a piece of a protein – that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. This kind of vaccine is proved to have an efficacy of 94.8% against Covid-19.

Thuan said that the ministry is making efforts to access the vaccine supplies, both directly and indirectly.

By early 2022, Vietnam is estimated to get 39 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine under the global vaccine-sharing COVAX Facility, 30 million doses of AstraZeneca bought by Vietnam Vaccine Joint Stock Co. (VNVC), two million doses donated by some organizations and countries, and 31 million doses in deals signed between the ministry and suppliers.

The country aims to secure 150 million doses to inoculate 70% of its population by next year.

The National Assembly, the country’s highest legislative body, has approved an amount of VND12.1 trillion (US$526 million) from the saving of the 2020 regular expenses for vaccine purchase.

Regarding the home-grown vaccine production, Covivac completes the second phase of human trial while Nano Covax vaccine is ready for the third human trial soon.

“If the outbreak of coronavirus will unfortunately occur in Vietnam, the Health Ministry will consider approving Nano Covax when it finishes half of the third-stage trial,” Thuan said.