Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has said that under a vaccine technology transfer contract signed with a US partner, a vaccine production factory with a yearly capacity of 100 million doses will operate in 2022.
|Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long.|
Minister Long told a National Assembly session early this week that the fourth outbreak, starting from late April, had hit the northern key economic region, and now the southern key economic region.
The Ministry of Health has mobilized nearly 7,000 health workers from central and local hosptals to send to assist Ho Chi Minh City and southern provinces, and set up field warehouses to support epidemic-hit localities.
Regarding the vaccine strategy, the Minister said that the first vaccine supply agreement was signed in September 2020 with COVAX Facility with 38.9 million doses. Vietnam’s diplomatic efforts to access vaccines have been strongly promoted and have attained positive results.
So far, partners have committed to provide Vietnam with over 130 million doses. Vietnam is negotiating for more than 40 million doses to bring the total to 170 million doses by late 2021, Long said.
In July alone, more than 12 million doses will be delivered to epidemic-affected localities, provinces and cities that are Vietnam’s economic locomotives.
Regarding research, development and technology transfer of vaccines, in the first quarter of 2021, Vietnam was one of the first four countries in the world to isolate and culture viruses, paving the way for vaccine research. Vietnam is also the first country in Southeast Asia to conduct a phase 3 trial of Covid-19 vaccine. The first locally-made vaccine is expected to be approved for emergency use in August 2021.
For vaccine technology transfer, Minister Long said that Vietnam has signed three technology transfer contracts with Russia, the US and Japan.
With the Russian partner, the first phase of technology transfer has been completed. Vietnam has manufactured the first test batch of COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V. The first samples taken from this batch were transported to the Gamaleya Center, the Russian research institute that develops the Sputnik V vaccine, for quality control. In August, the vaccine will be packaged in Vietnam, moving to phase 2 of the technology transfer process later this year.
The transfer of vaccine technology with the US partner will be tested in August. The construction of a factory with a yearly capacity of 100 million doses is underway and is expected to operate in the first half of 2022.
The minister said: "The vaccination campaign has started and will be accelerated from now to the year's end."
According to the Government's report on vaccination against Covid-19, the whole country has administered more than 4.45 million doses out of a total of more than 6 million doses of the vaccine distributed in 11 phases (72.1%). As many as 4 million people have got the first shot and 334,560 people the second shot.
Local agencies are actively preparing to administer 4,015,290 vaccine doses that arrived in Vietnam on July 12, with priority given to those on the frontlines of the fight against the epidemic, workers in industrial zones, and people in high-risk areas, especially some southern provinces.
Tran Thuong - Thu Hang
Local companies have announced plans to produce COVID-19 vaccines in Vietnam.