Vietnam on track to make Covid-19 vaccine

Vietnam is one of 42 countries capable of producing a Covid-19 vaccine.

Four producers are researching and developing Covid-19 vaccines: Vabiotech, Polyvac, IVAC and Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, according to Khoa Hoc va Phat Trien.

Vietnam on track to make Covid-19 vaccine

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Vabiotech set to work on the vaccine in February 2020, right after the Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology successfully isolated SARS-Cov-2 virus.

The project has brought initial achievements: the vaccine has high immunogenicity.

The finding is significant for Vabiotech, because this shows that the scientists are following the right track and gained initial results.

Two batches of serum samples of 50 mice vaccinated against Covid-19 last May were sent to the Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology for analysis.

Four producers are researching and developing Covid-19 vaccines: Vabiotech, Polyvac, IVAC and Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC
 

According to Dang Duc Anh, head of the institute, four out of eight groups of vaccinated mice were found having an antibody response. This is the foundation for Vabiotech to develop a complete vaccine.

Chair of Vabiotech Do Tuan Dat said in the next period, the candidate vaccine will be developed into a vaccine with sufficient standards to be used for humans.

It will take 9-12 months to make a complete vaccine, but Dat said Vabiotech will try to shorten the process. If compared with the average time of 10 years needed to develop most vaccines, successful vaccine development within 18-24 months would be a great achievement.

He hopes that Vabiotech can test the vaccine on animals once more in 4-5 months, or no more than 9 months before the vaccine is tested on humans. It will take another 2-3 months after testing on humans to set up production and put the vaccine into use.

IVAC has also gained initial achievements with its vaccine project. Its vaccine sample has been sent to the US for assessment. It is expected that the results will be released in late August.

According to Duong Huu Thai, head of IVAC, if the response from the US is positive, IVAC will prepare the next steps for clinical trials in humans, and if all results are good, IVAC would be able to produce by the end of 2021. However, Thai said it is still too early to say anything at this moment.

The vaccine researched by IVAC uses the technology of cultivating in chicken eggs with embryos, with the production process similar to the production of the vaccine used in the A/H5N epidemic. The Covid-19 vaccine, if successfully developed, can be produced at IVAC’s ' factory.

The other two vaccine producers are also working on vaccines. Nanogen has produced vaccines on a small scale based on the Wuhan virus strain and mutant strain. It is expected that the pre-clinical trial will be carried out in September.

Mai Lan

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