More 30 volunteers to be injected with 2nd Vietnam homegrown Covid-19 vaccine

More 30 volunteers are expected to receive Covivac, the second Made-in-Vietnam Covid-19 vaccine, as part of its phase one of the human trials between March 23-25.
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According to Associate Professor, Dr. Vu Dinh Them, Director of the Center for Clinical Trials under the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, these 30 volunteers are among 120 ones who had registered for the first phase of the human trials of Covivac, VTC News reported.

After the injection, volunteers will be required to stay at the Center for Clinical Trials for 24 hours for health monitoring.

A volunteer is injected with the Covivac vaccine on March 15. Photo: VTC News

The first phase of the human trial involves the participation of a total of 120 volunteers divided into 5 groups, including one group injected with the placebo. Volunteers will receive 2 shots, each 28 days apart.

Volunteers will receive health checks eight days after the injections, with researchers monitoring them over the phone and doing further checks throughout the trials to evaluate the vaccine’s immunogenicity.

The mid-term report of the first phase is expected to be completed in July.

Previously, on March 15, the first six volunteers participated in the first phase of the human trial of the Covivac vaccine at the Hanoi Medical University.

Covivac is researched and produced by the Institute of Vaccines and Biological Medical (IVAC) under the Ministry of Health.

Once developed, Covivac will be a liquid vaccine with or without adjuvants, without preservatives, and making use of production technology of the Newcastle vector vaccine which is based on production technology that uses chicken eggs with embryos. This technology is also used in order to produce seasonal flu vaccines in Vietnam, Vnexpress reported.

Photo: Vnexpress

Nguyen Ngo Quang, Deputy head of the Ministry of Health’s Administration of Science Technology and Training, said the total insurance cover for the volunteers is around VND 40 billion ($1.7 million).

Through pre-clinical assessments conducted in India, the U.S, and Vietnam, the Covivac vaccine has recorded a strong immunological effect on laboratory animals and has so far proved to be safe.

The Covivac vaccine was also proved to be effective against the new SARS-CoV strain detected in both the UK and South Africa.

The IVAC plans to offer the Covivac vaccine at a price of VND 60,000 ($2.6) per dose.

Meanwhile, the first locally-produced COVID-19 vaccine, Nanocovax, made by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, entered its second phase of human trials on February 26.

Vietnam has two other COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed, which are VABIOTECH by the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No 1, and POLYVAC by the Centre for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals.

Since Vietnam launched the Covid-19 vaccination campaign on March 8, as many as 33,891 Vietnamese frontliners have been administered the vaccine.

The vaccine used in this campaign is developed and manufactured by the British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca in collaboration with Oxford University. The first batch of 117,600 vaccine doses arrived in Vietnam on February 24. An additional 5 million doses from global vaccine access mechanism Covax, UNICEF, and Vietnam Vaccine Joint Stock Company’s purchasing contract are expected to arrive in March and April.

The prioritized groups receiving the vaccine are medical workers directly treating Covid-19 patients, those involve in taking samples, testing, contact tracing, members of Covid-19 community groups, and members of the Steering Committees for disease prevention and control.

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