Vietnam PM: Home-grown vaccines must ensure safety, efficacy

Vietnam Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chinh chairing the working session meeting in Hanoi on Saturday (July 23). - Vietnam News/ANN

HANOI, July 24 (Vietnam News/ANN): Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chinh has directed the development and production of home-grown vaccines to move faster, but has said their safety and efficacy must be ensured.

He gave the direction during a working session with leaders of ministries, vaccine producers and scientists called to discuss the research and production of Covid-19 vaccines in Hanoi on July 23.

Speaking at the event, Chính stressed that Vietnam is rolling out a “vaccine strategy”, including importing, studying, facilitating vaccine production technology transfer and producing home-grown vaccines along with vaccinating the whole population for free.

In particular, research, technology transfer and domestic production of vaccines are very important parts of the vaccine strategy that will allow the country to be independent of foreign suppliers.

In the past, the Government and the Prime Minister have focused on this via meetings and surveys, and have been providing encouragement for units that are conducting research, technology transfers, testing, and going forward in the production of a domestic vaccine.

The PM emphasised the need to follow proper protocols and procedures regarding the matter.

The Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Government Office have been responsible for monitoring the progress of the vaccine.

The Health Ministry reported that Nanocovax, produced by the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC and Covivac by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, are currently undergoing clinical trials.

For Nanocovax, the first shots, in the third phase, were given to 13,007 volunteers. This phase is scheduled to be completed by August 15.

The Ministry of Health has sent a team of domestic experts to coordinate with WHO experts to support the manufacturing and the research teams (HCM City Pasteur Institute - Military Medical Academy) to complete a research dossier. This will be submitted to the evaluation boards between August 15 and 20.

The COVIVAX vaccine, being researched and produced by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, is expected to enter phase three in September 2021.

VinGroup Corporation has also been negotiating with the US’s Acturus Company. It is expected that in August 2021, clinical trials will start in Vietnam. The production factory is expected to have a capacity of 100 to 200 million doses per year when completed.

International Progress Joint Stock Company (AIC) and the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 (VABITOECH) have also signed an agreement with Shionogi Company (Japan), and are preparing to start phase three clinical trials in Việt Nam as well as technology transfer for vaccine production. It is expected that in June 2022, the vaccine will be on the market.

VABIOTECH and DS-Bio Company have also signed an agreement with Russia's sovereign wealth fund Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on bottling and packaging the Sputnik V vaccine.

It is expected that by August 10, 2021, the test results will be available, and then production can commence. They expect to have an output of five million doses per month. - Vietnam News/ANN

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