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Two more imported COVID-19 vaccines approved in Vietnam

Jasmine Le Jasmine Le

lehang1997hanu@gmail.com

February 26, 2021 | 13:58

US’s Moderna and Russia’s Generium COVID-19 vaccines are green-lighted by the Vietnam Ministry of Health for emergency use, becoming the next authorized candidates in Vietnam after AstraZeneca.

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A box of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine vials (Photo: Getty Images)

The National Advisory Council in charge of granting drug circulation registration numbers approved the two new vaccines and submitted the proposal to the Ministry of Health for consideration at their meeting on February 25.

Earlier on February 24, the first 117,600 AstraZeneca doses arrived in Vietnam. The batch is part of the 30-million-dose contract between Vietnam Vaccine JSC (VNVC) and UK’s biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. These vaccines are currently stored at VNVC’s super-cold storage and undergoing inspection prior to vaccination. On top of that, the country is negotiating with US-based Pfizer Biotech for more COVID-19 vaccines, as reported by VTC News.

Vietnam needs at least 150 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate its people this year. However, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has said Vietnam is likely to get 90 million doses this year.

The Ministry of Health is scheduled to kick-start a vaccination campaign in early March, with priority given to frontline healthcare workers, according to VOV.

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(Photo: VTC News)

Vietnam is currently having four potential vaccines on hands. The vaccines are studied and produced by Nanogen, Vabiotech, Polyvac and the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVMB), all have completed the laboratory production process.

While Vabiotech and Polyvac’s vaccines are still under evaluation on animals, IVMB’s candidate Covivac is currently under the first phase of human trials. Nanocogen’s Nonacovax vaccine has completed its first trial and set to enter the second phase this February. The third phase (August 2021 - February 2022) is planned to take place in an epidemiological area in India, Indonesia, or Bangladesh to gather enough 1,500 – 3,000 volunteers aged 12-75.

Nanocovax 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.

Eight cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the past 12 hours to 6 pm February 25, including seven locally-infected cases in the northern province of Hai Duong, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Meanwhile, on the morning of February 26, 1 imported case was reported in concentrated isolation in Tay Ninh.

Vietnam’s national tally amounts to 2421, with 643 cases belong to Hai Duong - the current biggest epicenter across the country. 35 patients have succumbed to the disease ever since the pandemic broke out.

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Jasmine Le