PM: Vietnam must be able to produce COVID-19 vaccines no later than June 2022
PM Pham Minh Chinh has requested accelerating the transfer of vaccine production technology and the testing and production of home-grown vaccine for COVID-19, so that Vietnam will be able to produce COVID-19 vaccines no later than June 2022.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the Vaccine and Biological Production Company No. 1 (Photo: VNA)
He made the order during working sessions with several producers of vaccines, biological products and medical supplies in Hanoi on June 24.
At the Vaccine and Biological Production Company No. 1 under the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, the PM also reiterated the need to carry out the vaccination campaign in the quickest, most effective and safest manner.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh visits the Medicon company. (Photo: VNA)
The Government requires quicker progress in the implementation of vaccine strategy, he stressed.
During a working session with Medicon company which specialises in producing test kits for medical needs, the PM asked the company to keep up its creative spirit in research and production of medical products, including medical supplies for COVID-19 prevention and control.
Health Ministry urgently evaluates locally-produced Nano Covax vaccine
The Ministry of Health held an urgent meeting on June 25 alongside relevant agencies to evaluate the testing of Nano Covax, a locally-made COVID-19 vaccine developed by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC.
Experts are set to examine the progress made in vaccine development, study the initial results, and consider the expansion of research and human clinical trials of the vaccine, according to the Sci-tech and Training Department under the Ministry of Health.
The meeting was held on the back of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s recent instructions regarding the acceleration of human clinical trials of Vietnamese COVID-19 vaccines.
During a fact-finding trip to the Vaccine and Biological Production Company No. 1 (VABIOTECH) on June 24, PM Chinh asked Vietnamese vaccine developers to speed up COVID-19 vaccine research, technology transfer and manufacturing, with the primary aim to roll out locally-produced vaccines before June 2022, at the latest.
Most notably, 10 days ago saw Nanogen make a proposal to the PM requesting for permission to have a license granted for its vaccine for emergency use domestically.
A Nanogen representative said the initial results of the first and second phases of clinical trials indicate that the immunogenicity of its Nano Covax vaccine has reached 99.4%, a figure which is equivalent to or even higher than other global vaccines.
The company is currently in the process of carrying out the third phase of the clinical trial and approximately 1,000 out of the 13,000 registered volunteers have so far been given their first shot.
Nano Covax is said to be effective against the B.1.1.7 strain which was first detected in the UK. Scientists will see if it can also protect people from the variant B.1.617.2 which was first identified in India during the third phase.
However, health professionals believe that the vaccine has yet to pass through all three test phases to prove it has immunogenicity and provides effective protection and safety.
At present, Nanogen’s production line is designed to produce between 8 – 12 million doses a month. The company is expanding its storage facility system to make sure it is capable of storing 10 million doses, meeting international standards. It is anticipated to supply 50 million doses by the end of the year and 100 million doses by 2022.
In July and August, Vietnam is expected to receive about 13 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from many sources, according to the Ministry of Health.