Jun 29, 2021 / 11:31

Vietnam approves Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use

Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine is the fifth coronavirus vaccine approved in Vietnam.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health on June 29 gave a nod to a Covid-19 vaccine developed by the US-based firm Moderna for emergency use.

The vaccine, called Spikevax, is the fifth Covid-19 vaccine authorized to be administered to Vietnamese people.

This is a suspension vaccine for intramuscular injection. Each vial contains ten doses, each 0.5 ml dose contains 100 mcg mRNA.

 Vials labeled "Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine". Photo: Ministry of Health

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Spikevax vaccine is a messenger RNA (mRNA) based vaccine against Covid-19 disease. The mRNA instructs the cell to produce proteins of the S antigen (a piece of the spike protein unique to the novel coronavirus) to stimulate an immune response.

More than 50 countries in the world have been using the vaccine, including the US, Canada, the European Union, the UK, Singapore, among others.

In Vietnam, Zuellig Pharma Vietnam Co. Ltd is in charge of distributing the vaccine. The approval for the vaccine was signed by Deputy Health Minister Truong Quoc Cuong, which is based on safety, quality, and effectiveness data provided by Zuellig Pharma until June 23.

Vietnam's health ministry has asked Zuellig Pharma to be responsible for cooperating with vaccine manufacturers to ensure quality.

The Moderna vaccine provided for Vietnam in the coming time can be manufactured in Spain or France depending on the ability to supply the vaccine at the time of importation, the health ministry said.

The mass vaccination in Vietnam began on March 8 for adults above 18. It has so far covered around 3.5 million people with the AstraZeneca inoculant, of whom over 172,994 have been given two shots as of June 29 morning.

The Vietnamese Government has said it is stepping up negotiations with vaccine manufacturers in the US, Russia, and some other countries to ensure a total supply of 150 million doses for 70% of its population in 2021.

Vietnam has previously approved the AstraZeneca vaccine, Russia’s Sputnik V, China’s Sinopharm, and the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.