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Dec 09, 2020 / 16:48

Volunteer for Covid-19 clinical trials

Volunteers will have to stay at Vietnam Military Medical University in Hanoi for their health to be monitored following injection.

A number of people have volunteered for clinical trials of locally-made Covid-19 vaccine starting Thursday [December 10], local media reported.

Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC has recruited volunteers for the human trials of Covid-19 vaccine, said Ho Nhan, the company’s director, adding that the trials would be carried out in three phases.

 A Covid-19 vaccine is being developed at Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC. Photo: Duyen Phan

In the first phase, Nanogen, in cooperation with Vietnam Military Medical University, will choose 60 volunteers, aged 18-60 and without any underlying condition, infectious diseases or allergies, to undergo human trials.

Volunteers will have to stay at Vietnam Military Medical University in Hanoi for their health to be monitored following injection, according to a representative from the university.

The 60 volunteers will then be split into three smaller groups, each receiving three different vaccine dosages: 25 milligrams, 50 milligrams and 75 milligrams. 20 people will be injected first. The entire first phase is expected to last a month.

In the second phase, 600 volunteers will take part clinical trials, expected to last two to three months.

The third one will soon follow, albeit with an unconfirmed number of volunteers. "If everything goes well, clinical trials could be completed by April next year and the vaccine distribution starting May," Mr. Nhan said.

He added that Nanogen could produce 30 million Covid-19 vaccine doses a year, costing around VND100,000 (US$4.32) each. Two shots are required per dose with about half a month between them.

Aside from Nanogen Company, three other units are developing a Covid-19 vaccine in Vietnam, including Vabiotech, Polyvac and the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC). Among them, Polyvac and IVAC are conducting animal trials and necessary assessment.

Vabiotech has been tasked by the Ministry of Health with coordinating with Russia in the production process. Vabiotech was also asked to keep in touch with China so that it can have access to the latter’s vaccine in the coming time.

Approximately 200 vaccine manufacturers around the world have been involved in the development of Covid-19 jabs. Vietnam is anticipated to complete all research and production stages of its locally-made vaccines by the end of 2021, a health official stated.

At the time of writing, Vietnam has recorded 1,377 Covid-19 cases so far, 115 still active. Thirty-five have succumbed to the disease, many being elderly patients with underlying conditions like diabetes or kidney failure.