Made-in-Vietnam COVID-19 vaccine to be priced under US $2.6

The indigenous Covivac vaccine is expected to be less than US $2.6 (VND 60,000) per dose, a reasonable price for all Vietnamese residents.
March 01, 2021 | 08:11
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Vingroup granted a COVID-19 aid package worthing VND 20 billion (US $866,618) to IVAC (Photo: Nguoi Lao Dong)

Duong Huu Thai, director of Nha Trang Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, announced the expected price Saturday morning. “Hopefully Covivac’s human trials will soon have good results so that Vietnamese residents would have an affordable, yet effective COVID-19 vaccine”, Thai was quoted by Nguoi Lao Dong.

Vingroup – Vietnam’s biggest conglomerate – on February 27 morning had granted a COVID-19 aid package worthing VND 20 billion (US $866,618) to the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC).

Vietnam has gone through unprecedented difficulties in the fight against COVID-19 over the past year. Having enough vaccines on hand is crucial for the new normal life. This is a challenging task, but Vietnam has done a good job in speeding COVID-19 vaccine development”, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said at the ceremony. “Nonocovax vaccine of Nanogen Company has already entered the second phase of human trials”.

Long emphasized that the Health Ministry had been expediting local vaccine development as well as negotiating to order more imported vaccines. Vaccination must start at the earliest time given the potential dangers of the new variants.

I believe Vietnam’s vaccine development would be promising”, he said.

Duong Huu Thai, director of Nha Trang Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (Photo: Nguoi Lao Dong)

The Covivac vaccine is the research work of the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) under the Ministry of Health (MOH). It had earlier yielded safe results and strong immunity responses on mice, rabbits, etc. Given promising results on animals, the vaccine is granted to enter human trials starting January, two months earlier than expected.

“If all three trial phases yield good results, Vietnam might have the vaccine in late 2021”, Thai said. “IVAC has an edge in the production process thanks to its available infrastructure, technology, and decade-long experience in producing flu vaccines”, Dr. Duong Huu Thai, Director of IVAC said.

Meanwhile, Nanogen’s Nanocovax which has just entered the second human trial is priced at VND120,000 ($5.17) per dose. Along with injections, Vietnam’s COVID-19 Nanocovax vaccine will also be developed in the form of eye-drop and nasal spray for special subjects.

Along with this, two other made-in-Vietnam vaccine candidates produced by Vabiotech and Polyvac are currently evaluating their vaccines on animals, having completed the laboratory-scale production process.

Covivac vaccine (Photo: VOV)
To date, Vietnam records 2,432 COVID-19 cases, of which 1,844 have recovered. 35 patients have succumbed to the deadly disease. Two positive cases detected in Quang Ninh and Hai Duong provinces on January 28 broke the streak of months without community infection. Since then, a total of 837 new patients have been confirmed. With 653 cases, the northern province of Hai Duong is Vietnam’s current biggest COVID-19 hotspot.

On global scale, over 114.4 million cases have been recorded. Over 524,000 have died.

there are currently 11 COVID-19 vaccine candidates under the third phase of human trials. Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine (the US) is the first vaccine to complete the trials with 95 percent effectiveness and granted emergency use authorization from the UK and Bahrain.

Meanwhile, Moderna’s vaccine is on its final clinical trial phase, with an effective rate reaches 94.5 percent. Oxford/ AstraZeneca is 70-90 percent effective, depending on the injection dose. Russia’s Sputnik V (95 percent effective) is scheduled to begin mass vaccination next week.

Moderna’s vaccine is priced at 37 USD per dose, meanwhile, Pfizer’s vaccine and Oxford’s vaccine are more reasonably priced at 19 USD and 3 UDD per dose, respectively.

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