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Vietnam to begin human trial of second COVID-19 vaccine this month

Sunday, January 03, 2021, 15:49 GMT+7
Vietnam to begin human trial of second COVID-19 vaccine this month
Vials of Covivac, a made-in-Vietnam COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC). Photo: Huu Thai / Tuoi Tre

The human trial of Vietnam’s second COVID-19 vaccine is expected to begin within January, two months ahead of the original schedule.

Covivac, a made-in-Vietnam COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), will be tested on humans this month, said Duong Huu Thai, head of the IVAC.

Vietnamese firm Nanogen previously began the first phase of the human trial of its COVID-19 vaccine – Nanocovax – in mid-December.

Covivac has been successfully tested on animals, namely mice and rabbits, and showed a promising level of safety and efficacy.

Therefore, the IVAC suggested that the Ministry of Health allow the human trial to begin in January, which is two months earlier than originally planned.  

The development of the vaccine began in May last year, Thai elaborated, adding that the human trial will include three phases.

“The first phase will began in January and conclude in April. If all three phases show good results, the vaccine will be available in the market in late 2021,” he said.

Covivac is developed at the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals. Photo: Huu Thai / Tuoi Tre

Covivac is developed at the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals. Photo: Huu Thai / Tuoi Tre

The IVAC will coordinate with the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and Hanoi Medical University to conduct the human trial of Covivac.

During the first phase, 125 volunteers divided into three groups will receive different doses.

The volunteers are healthy people aged from 18 to 59 and do not suffer any underlying condition.

They also need to meet several other requirements.

The expected doses are one microgram and three micrograms, and each volunteer will receive two shots with a 28-day interval.

They will have their health closely monitored following the injection.

Nguyen Ngo Quang, an official from the Ministry of Health, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that Covivac had been assessed by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and scientists in the U.S..

As the results were promising, the ministry will allow the human trial to begin around January 21 and 22, Quang added.

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