Made-in-Vietnam Covid-19 vaccine enters second phase of human trials

Nano Covax, the first made-in-Vietnam Covid-19 vaccine entered the second phase of human trials on February 26 morning.
February 26, 2021 | 15:33
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The first 35 volunteers received injections of the home-grown Nano Covax in the second phase of the human trial at the Military Medical University on February 26, according to Vietnamplus.

The 35 volunteers were chosen among about 300 people who registered to participate in the second-stage trial of the vaccine at the University after undergoing rigorous medical examinations. They are divided into three groups for receiving three different doses of 25mcg, 50mcg and 75mcg, and one group with five people getting the placebo.

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The second phase of human trial of home-grown Nano Covax is carried out at the Military Medical University on February 26. Photo: VNA

According to a representative from the University, a total of 560 volunteers, aged 18-60, including those with several diseases such as hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetes, among others, will participate in the second-stage trial, which is carried out in Hanoi and the Mekong Delta province of Long An.

Lieutenant-General Do Quyet, Director of the Military Medical University, said since the trial sees the participation of volunteers with underlying health conditions, competent authorities have been prepared for all scenarios and ensure safety for all volunteers.

Results of the trial will be announced in May 2021 before preparing for the third-stage trial during which only one single shot of the vaccine will be administered to 10,000-15,000 people from both domestic and foreign pandemic-hit regions, Quyet added.

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A volunteer receives a dose of Nano Covax vaccine. Photo: VOV

Present at the second-stage trial of Nano Covax at Military Medical University, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam encouraged the volunteers and the medical workers, while expressing his firm belief in the ability of the Vietnamese scientists in successfully developing COVID-19 vaccines.

The first-stage trial of the Nano Covax vaccine showed that it is likely to be effective against the B117 variant from the UK.,

Vietnam is one among 40 countries in the world that have started human trials of a COVID-19 vaccine, after successfully producing coronavirus test kits early into the pandemic.

The country has several other COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed, which are IVAC by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, VABIOTECH by the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No 1, and POLYVAC by the Centre for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals.

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Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam arrives at the Vietnam Military Medical Academy in Hanoi to encourage Vietnamese volunteers. Photo: VOV

Vietnam is expected to obtain 150 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from foreign and domestic sources by 2022, said the Ministry of Health, Vnexpress reported.

The vaccines would come from British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca, global vaccine access mechanism Covax and other domestic producers. The reception schedule and number of doses received were reported by the National Steering Committee on Covid-19 Prevention and Control to the government Wednesday.

The first batch, delivered Wednesday, was 117,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses from AstraZeneca. They would be prioritized for those on the frontline of the pandemic fight, including medical workers, doctors, nurses, contact tracers and officials of Covid-19 prevention and control committees.

The Ministry of Health has also approved the U.S.'s Moderna and Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines for use in emergencies.

Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine is based on messenger RNA technology and uses synthetic genes that can be generated and manufactured in weeks, and produced at scale more rapidly than conventional vaccines.

Sputnik V produced by Generium JSC is administered in two shots three weeks apart, has to be stored at below 18 Celsius and has a six-month shelf life.

The new outbreak began on Jan. 28 after Vietnam went 55 clean days in a row. Since then, a total of 827 community transmissions have been recorded in 13 localities, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. With 636 cases, Hai Duong is now the biggest Covid-19 hotspot, followed by Quang Ninh (61) and HCMC (36).

The national tally has gone up to 2,420, with 35 deaths.

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