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Oct 01, 2020 / 11:37

Made-in-Vietnam Covid-19 vaccine to be tested on humans next year

It is expected that there will be at least one Vietnamese Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer conducting clinical trials for the second and third phases in 2021.

Four vaccine manufacturers in Vietnam are gearing up research and production of coronavirus vaccine and the trial on humans is expected to be ready in 2021, VnExpress quoted Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long as saying at a conference on September 30.

The four Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers in Vietnam include the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (Ivac), the No.1 Vaccine and Biological Company (Vabiotech), the Research Center for Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (Polyvac), and Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Company.

 A Vabiotech researcher works on Covid-19 vaccine research in Vietnam. Photo: MoH

Vabiotech conducted preclinical research trials on 50 mice in May, which produced positive results and good immune response. The success in producing antibody responses in mice has moved the project's first phase forward by two months.

"It is expected that there will be at least one Vietnamese manufacturer conducting clinical trials for the second and third phases in 2021," Mr. Long said, adding that he could not tell the exact time for the Vietnamese vaccine trial on humans.

As usual, the clinical trial of a vaccine must go through three mandatory stages. The first one is the trial on 30-50 healthy adults with a view to assessing the vaccine’s safety. The second stage is carried out on 200 healthy adults to evaluate the vaccine’s safety and immunogenicity. The third one is conducted on 500 people, including children and the elderly to assess the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.

Test results in previous stages must ensure safety within permissible limits before proceeding to the next stage.

Vietnam is one of the 92 countries participating in the program "Global Covid-19 Vaccine Access Solution" (Covax Facility) and has received commitment from the Global Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) to support the country’s research and manufacture.

With the goal of providing two billion doses of vaccine to about 20% of the population of the member countries in the Covax Facility by the end of 2021, Vietnam in Gavi's directory will have the opportunity to access and early be provided with vaccines.

In addition to two vaccine supplies from Covax and domestic companies, Vietnam is actively seeking other sources through direct negotiations with foreign manufacturers.

There are 42 nations working to create their own vaccines that adhere to the standards of the World Health Organization, including Vietnam.

Vietnam has recorded 1,094 Covid-19 cases nationwide so far, of which 1,010 have recovered and 35 died.