Human trials start on second Vietnam-produced COVID-19 vaccine hinh anh 1Deputy Minister of Heath Tran Van Thuan (second from right) inspects the vaccination of COVIVAC on a volunteer (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Six out of 120 volunteers have been injected with Vietnam’s second homegrown candidate vaccine COVIVAC, as human trials began at the Hanoi Medical University on March 15.

Expressing his delight at the event, Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan said the ministry will send working delegations to monitor related research and the outcomes of the trial’s first phase, to ensure the safety of volunteers.

The 120 healthy volunteers in the first phase have been divided into five groups, including one to receive placebo shots, and will have their health monitored closely for 24 hours after injections.

Each volunteer will have their health checked eight times over a period of 12 months.

Following the six injected on March 15, the remainders will take turns being inoculated until April 20. All volunteers will receive their second shots 28 days after the first.

A report on the outcomes of the first phase is expected to be completed in July. If the vaccine meets standards on safety and effectiveness, the second phase will be carried out at the medical centre in Thai Binh province’s Vu Thu district with a larger number of volunteers.

Developed by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) since last May, COVIVAC is the result of cooperation between IVAC and a number of partners, including the Hanoi Medical University, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, the University of Texas in Austin, and the US-based health organisation PATH.

Using primary chicken embryo cell culture - a technique the institute used previously to successfully produce seasonal flu vaccines - it is the second Made-in-Vietnam candidate vaccine tested on humans.

The Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Company earlier completed the first phase of human trials of its NanoCovax vaccine and began the second phase on February 26./.