A vaccine for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may only become available in Vietnam in the second half of 2021, said acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long.
The Ministry of Health convened a teleconference with health departments in provinces and cities throughout the country on Wednesday to discuss COVID-19 prevention and control efforts.
Vietnam is taking all possible measures to access a coronavirus vaccine, but it may only become available in the country in the last six months of 2021, Long remarked at the meeting.
The Southeast Asian nation has signed up to purchase COVID-19 vaccines produced by Russia and the UK while at the same time expediting the development of a locally-made jab.
Four groups of researchers are currently in the process of developing coronavirus vaccines in Vietnam, according to Nguyen Ngo Quang, a Ministry of Health official.
Among them, the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) is planning to conduct human trials of its vaccine between October and December this year.
The shot is anticipated to be distributed to the local market in October 2021.
Another group of scientists from VABIOTECH, a state-owned firm managed by the Ministry of Health, is also expected to conduct human trials of its vaccine in early 2021.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia had become the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine, after less than two months of human testing.
Vietnam’s COVID-19 tally has reached 1,007, with 542 having recovered and 25 deaths as of Friday morning.
Five-hundred and twenty-five local infections have been reported since July 25, when the country documented its first community-based case after 99 days.