Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has urged competent authorities to exert more efforts so that the country can start producing its own COVID-19 vaccines in September.
The premier on Thursday convened a meeting with scientists, businesses, and institutions participating in the production and research of made-in-Vietnam COVID-19 vaccines.
Apart from purchasing and importing vaccines, Vietnam is stepping up the transfer of vaccine production technology, as well as the research and production of homemade jabs in an effort to secure as many doses as possible for the people, PM Chinh stated.
The Ministry of Health reported at the meeting that two homegrown COVID-19 vaccines, namely Nano Covax developed by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC and COVIVAC by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, had already entered clinical trials.
Vietnam has also received vaccine production technology from the United States, Japan, and Russia.
PM Chinh stressed that the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and relevant ministries must do their utmost to facilitate vaccine research, technology transfer, and production, particularly in terms of administrative procedures.
He also ordered the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, the Hanoi Medical University, the Military Medical Academy, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, and the Pasteur Institute to assist in the effort.
The premier tasked the health ministry with establishing a special working group on COVID-19 vaccines, as well as issuing a circular on circulation permits for domestic COVID-19 medicine and vaccines.
“We must exert even more efforts so that Vietnam can have its own COVID-19 vaccines,” PM Chinh stressed.
“If things go smoothly, Vietnam may be able to start the production of COVID-19 vaccines from September.”
The Southeast Asian country has so far received about 19 million doses through purchase, the COVAX Facility, and donations from other countries.
The health ministry has approved six COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use, namely AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinopharm, and Johnson & Johnson.
More than 12 million doses have been administered since inoculation was rolled out on March 8, with over one million people fully vaccinated.