People in Vietnam could get access to COVID-19 vaccines as early as the first quarter of next year, with vulnerable groups to be given immunization priority, according to a vaccine and vaccination service provider.
Three to four vaccine manufacturers have now almost closed a deal with the service provider, which broke the news to reporters in Hanoi on Friday.
The service provider said that it had finished training work and preparing storage facilities so injection could be done immediately upon the vaccines’ arrival in Vietnam.
The vaccines in question could be imported into Vietnam in the first quarter of 2021, the service provider said, without revealing the country of origin.
Standard shots and those subsidized by the manufacturers would be available, the service provider elaborated.
The subsidized doses would be very cheap but it is not immediately clear how many shots would be distributed to Vietnam.
Standard jabs would cost US$50 per two doses, the service provider said.
Vulnerable groups like health workers, people with underlying conditions, tour guides, and others would be given vaccination priority.
The service provider plans to launch an immunization registration drive over the Internet soon.
Four vaccines are being developed in Vietnam, including the Nanocovax, which was first tested on humans on December 17.
All volunteers, amounting to 60 in the first phase, already injected with the jab have been in stable health, the manufacturer, Nanogen, said.
The second phase, aimed at assessing the immunogenicity of Nanocovax, is expected to take place in April 2021 with at least 400 volunteers from 12 to 75 years old.
The final phase will begin in August and require at least 1,500 volunteers from 12 to 75 years old.
Should tests go as planned, the vaccine will be manufactured and made available for local residents in late 2021 or early 2022.