Speeding up the clinical trials of locally-produced coronavirus vaccines
Source: VGP

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam at the meeting (Source: VGP)

The first phase of the clinical trial of Covivac developed by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), is underway in Vietnam.

The clinical trials of the first two vaccines, Nano Covax and Covivac, have proved to yield initial positive results, Dr. Nguyen Ngo Quang, an official of the Ministry of Health (MoH), told a meeting of the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control, on March 22.

Quang, who is the deputy head of the Science-Technology and Training under the MoH, said Nano Covax produced by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC has entered the second phase of its human testing following the success of the first phase.

All volunteers who got the jabs have generated a host of antibodies that can protect the recipients from several newly mutated strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including the B.1.1.7 variant from the United Kingdom.

Scientists are expected to carry out the third and final phase of the Nano Covax trial in May and complete it in the third quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, the first phase of the clinical trial of Covivac developed by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), is underway. Covivac is said to protect the recipients from variants from the UK and South Africa which are 70% more transmissible during the latest coronavirus outbreak globally.

In addition, the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No1 (VABIOTECH) is set to begin the first phase of its vaccine in April 2021, said Quang.

The three vaccines have proved to be effective following the results of research in the pre-clinical stage and clinical trials, said the health official, adding during the research process, Vietnamese scientists have cooperated closely with their colleagues from reputable vaccine research and production agencies in the world.

Hopefully the first Made-in-Vietnam coronavirus vaccine will be rolled out by the end of the third quarter of this year, said Quang.

Addressing the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam acknowledged the vaccine developers’ efforts and said the process should be stepped up.

He quoted experts and scientists, warning that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is constantly mutating into new forms and is likely to exist in a number of years. Therefore, all the vaccines need to be repeated to ensure the recipients stay protected from virus infection from one year to another. 

With regard to the use of imported vaccines for the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign, Dam reaffirmed that the MoH is the only Vietnamese body that has been assigned by the Prime Minister to coordinate with relevant ministries, agencies and localities in purchasing, importing, receiving aid, financing, managing and using the vaccines.


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