Vietnam News

Vietnam begins human trials of indigenous Covid-19 vaccine next week

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First stage human trials of a Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology company will begin December 10.

Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said the company will cooperate with the Vietnam Military Medical Academy to start recruiting volunteers to participate in the first phase of the human trial. The volunteers will be given the first test shots of the vaccine a week later.

The ministry said around 20 volunteers, aged 18-40, are expected to be injected with the vaccine during the first phase.

Long also asked relevant agencies to get ready for the second phase of the human clinical trials.

“We must be proactive and get the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible,” Long said at a Saturday meeting.

He said the ministry would create all favorable conditions for vaccine production units, including relaxing administrative procedures and speeding up registration and licensing of products. The ministry will report the investment policy for vaccine production to the government and coordinate with related institutions to support them access capital for research and production, he added.

Vietnam currently has four Covid-19 vaccines produced by Nanogen, Vabiotech, Polyvac and the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) currently under research.

The health ministry earlier has assessed Nanogen’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate among the most promising, having been successfully produced it on a laboratory scale and provoked immunogenicity during animal testing.

Ivac and Vabiotech have completed their laboratory-scale production process and are evaluating the safety and immunity of their vaccines on animals.

The ministry has asked Polyvac to work with producers in Russia and China to get access to their vaccines.

Globally, there are 11 vaccines that have entered phase three of clinical trials.

Before a vaccine can enter clinical trials, it needs to go through pre-clinical development stages like laboratory research and tests on cell, tissue cultures and animal subjects.

Vietnam has recorded 1,365 Covid-19 patients so far, including four imported cases reported Saturday evening. Thirty-five have succumbed to the disease so far, many of them elderly patients with underlying conditions like diabetes or kidney failure.

By Le Nga – VnExpress.net – December 6, 2020

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