Vietnam to soon produce COVID-19 vaccine hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam visits volunteers participating in the second trial phase of Nano Covax. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– The time for research and production of Nano Covax, Vietnam’s first candidate vaccine to reach human trial stage, has been shortened as much as possible, but safety has been ensured, said a health official.

Prof, Dr. Do Quyet, Director of the Hanoi-based Vietnam Military Medical University made the remarks on March 26 when the second shots of Nano Covax COVID-19 vaccine were given to volunteers during the second trial phase of this home-grown vaccine.

The first-stage trials of Nano Covax vaccine showed that the vaccinated volunteers have had antibodies against the UK variant, he said, adding that phase 2 would allow researchers to see how exactly immunogenic Nano Covax is.

The administration of the second jabs of this phase are expected to be completed at the end of April, according to Quyet.

At the current progress, scientists would be able to submit the preliminary test results to the National Council for Ethics in Biomedical Research in late June or early July for the approval of the third phase of trial on a larger scale, he continued.

The third phase will involve some 10,000 people with half of them given shots of AstraZeneca vaccine and the remainder receiving Nano Covax, he said, adding that it will help compare the side effect and effectiveness of the two types of vaccine.

Quyet expressed his belief that with the method, Vietnam would be able to produce its own COVID-19 vaccine in September.

On the occasion, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, expressed his trust in those engaging in Nano Covax research and trials.

While urging agencies and forces to press ahead with the research and production of domestic vaccines in line with procedures and standards, the Deputy PM stressed that even though the time would be shortened but no steps would be missed and scientific conditions must be ensured.”

The Military Medical University on March 25 began giving the second shots of the Nano Covax in the second trial phase to volunteers, who had received the first jabs between February 26 and March 10. A total of 560 volunteers, including those with mild background ailments such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular issues, are participating in this phase.

Nano Covax, developed by the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Company, is Vietnam’s first candidate vaccine to reach the human trial stage. 

According to Associate Prof. Dr. Chu Van Men, Director of the Military Medical University’s Centre for Clinical Trials and Bioequivalence, after receiving the first shots, volunteers exhibited symptoms such as pain at the injection point, a light fever, muscle aches, joint pain, and fatigue, but did not require medical intervention.

The health of the 560 volunteers remains stable, he said, adding that Nano Covax is safe and the volunteers are ready for their second shots.

The second trial phase is being organised simultaneously at the Military Medical University and the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City./.