Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The measles-rubella vaccine (MR) produced by Vietnam, which was clinically tested and proven safe and effective, will be used in the National Expanded Programme on Immunisation free of charge in 2017.

This is the first vaccine that has been produced in Vietnam by the Ministry of Health’s Centre for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biology (POLYVAC) under a technology-transfer project funded by the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA).

According POLYVAC Director Nguyen Dang Hien, the project started in May 2013 with a total cost of 700 million JPY (6.7 million USD). It targets a combined MR vaccine meeting the Good Manufacturing Practices standard of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In March 2016, with the assistance of Japanese experts and efforts of the centre’s staff, the measles-rubella vaccine was clinically tested and proven safe and effective, Hien said.

Specifically, the vaccine has been tested on 756 healthy people aged between 1-45 in the northern provinces of Ha Nam and Hoa Binh.

The Science Technology and Training Administration (STTA) has verified that the measles-rubella vaccine produced by the centre has met the requirements in terms of safety and immunity.

Since the project began, the Japanese side’s technology transfer unit – Kitasato Daiichi Sankyo Vaccine (KDSV) has sent 197 experts to Vietnam to support POLYVAC in producing the vaccine and received 36 staff from the centre for training in its plant in Japan.

Hien said the project’s success helps Vietnam proactively prevent diseases and protect the people’s health.

With its current capacity of 7.5 million doses per year, the centre can fully meet the domestic vaccine demand, even export in the future.

In 2015, the WHO certified that Vietnam has a fully-equipped national regulatory authority (NRA) system that ensures the safety and efficacy of vaccines produced and used in Vietnam.

Currently, Vietnam is among 25 nations that can produce vaccines in the world, and four in Asia that can produce the measles-rubella vaccine, following Japan, India, and China.-VNA