Human trails of 2nd local COVID-19 vaccine expected in January

Saturday, 2021-01-02 21:33:03
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A medial worker prepares to inject Nanocovax, the first made-in-Vietnam COVID-19 vaccine, into a volunteer as part of human trials on December 17, 2020. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – The Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), based in central Khanh Hoa province, has proposed the Ministry of Health allow human trials of its COVID-19 vaccine to begin in January, two months ahead of schedule.

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The IVAC said it made the proposal following the testing on animals like hamsters, mice, and rabbits, which has shown that the candidate vaccine is safe and creates high immune response on the animals.

If permitted, this will be the second Vietnamese vaccine in clinical trials on humans, after Nanocovax of the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, which started the first phase of human trials on December 10, 2020.

IVAC Director Duong Huu Thai said the institute’s research on a COVID-19 vaccine began in May, aiming to successfully produce a vaccine and complete three phases of clinical trials in 18 months.

“Initial results are relatively goods,” he said, noting that the first phase of testing will last for about two months and conclude in April.

If all the three phases show good results, the vaccine will be available as soon as late 2021, Thai added.

The IVAC is set to coordinate with the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) and the Hanoi Medical University to conduct clinical trials.

Different dosages of the vaccine will be injected into 125 volunteers of various age groups.

Apart from the IVAC’s vaccine and Nanocovax, Vietnam also has some other COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed.

On January 2, Vietnam recorded eight new imported COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 1,482, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

All of them are Vietnamese citizens who returned home from Germany, Taiwan (China), France and Malaysia. They have been quarantined upon their arrival.

According to the subcommittee for treatment, 12 patients were given the all-clear from coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 on January 2, raising the total number of recoveries to 1,337. The number of deaths related to the disease is still kept at 35.

Among the patients undergoing treatment across the country, nine have tested negative for the virus once, six twice and seven thrice.

As many as 18,372 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or entered Vietnam from pandemic-hit regions are currently quarantined nationwide, including 155 in hospitals, 16,589 in state-designated establishments and 1,628 at their residences.