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Việt Nam to begin human trials of COVID-19 vaccine this week

Việt Nam will begin the first stage of human trials of a COVID-19 vaccine from December 10, according to the Ministry of Health.

The vaccine was produced by the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology company, said deputy minister of health Nguyễn Thanh Long at a meeting with COVID-19 vaccine producers in Việt Nam on Saturday.

The company will work with the Military Medical Academy to recruit volunteers to participate in the first phase of human trials on Thursday. The volunteers will be given the first test shots of the vaccine a week later.

The ministry said about 20 volunteers, aged 18-40, are expected to be injected with the vaccine during the first phase.

Long asked agencies to get ready for the second phase of human clinical trials.

He said the ministry would create all favourable conditions for vaccine production units, including relaxing administrative procedures and speeding up registration and licensing of products. The ministry will report the investment policy for vaccine production to the Government and co-ordinate with related institutions to help them access capital for research and production, he added.

“We need to be proactive in all phases in order to be able to get the vaccine as soon as possible,” he said.

Việt Nam has four COVID-19 vaccines produced by Nanogen, Vabiotech, Polyvac and the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) currently under research.

The health ministry earlier assessed Nanogen’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate as among the most promising, having been successfully produced it on a laboratory scale and provoking immunogenicity during animal testing.

IVAC and Vabiotech have completed their laboratory-scale production process and are evaluating the safety and immunity of their vaccines on animals.

The ministry has asked Polyvac to work with producers in Russia and China to get access to their vaccines.

Long said the ministry has promoted COVID-19 vaccine research and production activities while at the same time increasing co-operation, exchanges and negotiations with foreign vaccine producers to soon get access to sources of vaccine to meet domestic demand. — VNS

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