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Jul 22, 2020 / 16:35

Vietnam speeds up Covid-19 vaccine production

The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Vietnam has shown positive testing results on animals, serving as an important foundation to accelerate the research and development of the vaccine.

Vietnam is striving to accelerate the progress of Covid-19 vaccine research, Vietnam News Agency reported.

The Covid-19 vaccine research and development project in Vietnam has shown positive progress when it is two months ahead of time in phase 1 with a fairly high immune response of the vaccine.

 Taking blood sample of mice to test the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Vietnamese scientists. Photo: Minh Quyet

This is the outcome of the analysis by the Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology on two batches of serum samples. The vaccine proved to be highly immunogenic when tested on 50 mice, analyses of their serum samples have been shown by the institute's researchers.

The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Vietnam has shown positive testing results on animals, serving as an important foundation to accelerate the research and development of the vaccine, according to Do Tuan Dat, director of developer Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 (Vabiotech).

Testing on mice is an important step in preparing vaccines for human trial, where researchers would be looking for an immune response after administration, Dat said, adding that Vietnamese scientists are working on developing a Covid-19 vaccine and plan to manufacture a large quantity of vaccines.

Vietnam will stay updated on vaccine production technology by learning from the world’s Covid-19 response experience. Vietnam’s vaccine development projects not only aim to manufacture a vaccine that the world is expecting but also help Vietnam to be self-sufficient in vaccine, Dat stressed.

Vietnam Covid-19 vaccine to be tested on humans in 2021

Vietnam’s research on Covid-19 vaccine is expected to end in October 2021 after human trial, the director of Vabiotech said.

 Dr. Do Tuan Dat, director of Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 (Vabiotech). Photo: Minh Quyet

It would normally take an average of ten years to produce a vaccine. But research and production of the Covid-19 vaccine might be shortened, Dat added.

"Maybe in another 9-12 months there would be a vaccine qualified to be tested on humans," he said.

To boost vaccine development, two Vabiotech scientists traveled to the UK’s Bristol University for research purposes from early February. Their greatest challenge was to create the most stable antigens suitable to trigger an immune response in humans, the director said.

Dat said Covid vaccine research in Vietnam could take advantage of previous studies on the vaccine against SARS epidemic which broke out in the country in 2003 so that the process could be shortened.

The firm is also waiting for global research results and the effectiveness of other candidate vaccines to draw experiences and apply them to Vietnam’s own efforts.

Dat said the firm is trying to speed up research and production so that the vaccine would be completed in October next year. Researchers are also working on the vaccine so it could be immunogenic after two doses.

The potential vaccine was first tested on 50 mice in May, though the project had commenced in February. Success in producing antibody responses in mice has moved the project's first phase forward by two months.

The project was funded with VND8 billion (US$345,216), including sponsorship from conglomerate Vingroup.

Vietnam has recorded 401 Covid-19 infections so far, with 36 active cases left and no deaths. No community transmission has been recorded in more than three months.