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Vietnam could have domestically-made COVID-19 vaccine ready by October 2021: health official

Vietnam could have domestically-made COVID-19 vaccine ready by October 2021: health official

Friday, July 24, 2020, 10:20 GMT+7
Vietnam could have domestically-made COVID-19 vaccine ready by October 2021: health official
A researcher works on novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine research and production at VABIOTECH in Vietnam. Photo: Lan Anh / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam currently has four vaccine manufacturers and research agencies working on a jab against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), offering favorable conditions to have a made-in-Vietnam vaccine ready by the end of 2021, a health official said.

Nguyen Ngo Quang, deputy director of the Administration of Science, Technology and Training under the Ministry of Health, made the remarks at a Hanoi meeting on research, production, clinical trials, licensing and the use of vaccines in Vietnam on Wednesday.

Speaking at the event, a representative of the international, nonprofit global health organization PATH said that there were 163 COVID-19 candidate vaccines in different stages of development around the world as of July 15.

Among them, 23 are in the clinical testing phase while 140, including those from Vietnam, are in the preclinical stage.

In Vietnam, there are four companies and institutes, namely VABIOTECH, Polyvac, IVAC, and Nanogen, working on a COVID-19 vaccine and they have gained positive initial results.

Among them, the research between IVAC, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, Thailand’s Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO), and the Brazilian vaccine producer Instituto Butantan are promising high feasibility, according to Quang.

IVAC’s candidate vaccine was sent to the U.S. for testing on animals on July 20.

If everything goes as planned, the vaccine will be ready for human clinical trials in October this year, the institute’s director Duong Huu Thai said.

Meanwhile, VABIOTECH, or the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No.1, is also working with the University of Bristol in the UK on a possible COVID-19 shot.

VABIOTECH conducted preclinical research trials on animals in May, which produced satisfactory results and good immune response.

It is expected that the company will test its COVID-19 vaccine on humans by the beginning of 2021.

Quang thus anticipated that Vietnam will have a COVID-19 vaccine ready by as early as October next year.

Vietnam has recorded no new community transmission of COVID-19 during the last 99 days, with the national tally standing at 412 and zero deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.

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