This is information given at the meeting on the afternoon of March 22 of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on the situation and progress of research and development of vaccines in the world and in Vietnam. to the present time. Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam – Head of the Steering Committee chaired.
Urgently, shorten the time but do not skip any stages, ensuring scientific conditions
At the meeting, Dr. Nguyen Ngo Quang – Deputy Director of the Department of Science, Technology and Training (Ministry of Health) reported on the situation of COVID-19 vaccines being used worldwide.
Accordingly, these vaccines are all licensed in the state of emergency, in response to epidemics. Right from the very beginning, the Ministry of Health created all conditions to promote progress in parallel with the criterion of ensuring the safety of research and production of vaccines in the country, serving the prevention and control of epidemics.
Recently, four Vietnamese units have researched and developed vaccines against COVID-19. In which, NanoCovax vaccine of NANOGEN Company has completed phase 1 clinical trial, phase 2 is underway. COVIVAC vaccine of Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) has started phase clinical trial. phase 1. Vaccine of No. 1 Vaccine and Biological Products Company (VABIOTECH) will prepare for phase 1 trial in April 2021.
The results of laboratory studies at the preclinical stage, clinical trials of all three vaccines are very good and promising. Having these initial results, first of all, is due to a team of experts and scientists in the field of vaccine research in Vietnam who are very experienced. During the research process, Vietnamese units all cooperated closely and exchanged directly with prestigious research and production agencies in the world.
In particular, with the spirit of “fighting the epidemic like fighting the enemy”, our research and development activities for COVID-19 vaccines fully comply with procedures, standards, urgency, shortening time but not skip any stage, ensure scientific conditions.
Advantages of COVID-19 vaccines researched and developed by Vietnam
Specifically, for the NanoCovax vaccine, after the end of the phase 1 clinical trial, 100% of people injected were safe, produced antibodies at high concentrations, had a good protective effect, and were tested for effectiveness. on new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus such as the strain detected in the UK.
As planned, by the end of April 2021, there will be an evaluation of the results of the phase 2 clinical trial of the NanoCovax vaccine, and the outlook is very optimistic. And it is expected that in early May 2021, the NanoCovax vaccine will be in phase 3 clinical trials.
Based on the results of phase 1 and phase 2 trials up to now, all experts and representatives of the Ministry of Health are very optimistic that if it is favorable, even the end of the third quarter of 2021 will be completed. into a phase 3 trial of the NanoCovax vaccine, further shortening it by 3 months compared to the previously planned schedule. Previously, the phase 2 trial of the NanoCovax vaccine was also shortened from 6 months to 3 months.
As for the COVIVAC vaccine, although it is only in phase 1 testing, but through preclinical studies, representatives of the Ministry of Health and experts have assessed that the quality is very good. In particular, the expected cost of this vaccine is very cheap (preliminary assessment is equal to ½ of the current vaccine price on the market). Learning from the NanoCovax vaccine, the clinical trial of COVIVAC phase 1 and 2 will be faster.
Nguyen Ngo Quang – Deputy Director of the Department of Science, Technology and Training (Ministry of Health) emphasized: It is hoped that by the end of the third quarter of 2021, Vietnam will have the first vaccine to prevent and control the COVID-19 epidemic caused by COVID-19. Vietnamese scientists research and produce Photo:Dinh Nam/VGP
Regarding VABIOTECH’s vaccine, which is based on recombinant technology on vector viruses, in a different research direction, there is a slower step, but so far the laboratory results are very optimistic, and clinical trials are expected to be carried out. ready for phase 1 in early April 2021. The advantage of this vaccine is that when successfully developed, it can be adjusted very quickly when there is a new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
A great step forward in research and development of vaccines
Experts and scientists say the situation is different now compared to the assessment in 2020. Countries have started to vaccinate, some of which are licensed by the World Health Organization (WHO), others by country. licensing, which is essentially a large-scale phase 3 trial.
Therefore, scientists say WHO is discussing and is expected to have official guidelines on vaccine testing on the principle of comparison with vaccines that have been licensed for official use. This will facilitate Vietnam’s phase 3 vaccine trial.
The representative of the Ministry of Health further explained that when we started injecting Astrazeneca vaccine, some countries in the world were suspicious of side effects, so they paused or slowed down this vaccination process, but Vietnam from the very beginning. has carefully implemented, ensuring safety, combined with monitoring vaccination information on personal electronic health records, and at the same time is a step to prepare for the issuance of a “vaccine pass”. Therefore, it is more convenient to research and compare Vietnam’s vaccines and Astrazeneca vaccines.
Agencies, experts and scientists confirm that we have made a long step forward in research and development of vaccines. If the phase 3 clinical trial is well organized to compare with vaccines that have been licensed for use in Vietnam, it is completely confident that in the near future we will have a vaccine from Vietnam.
NANOGEN’s NanoCovax vaccine volunteers research and develop
Major General Nguyen Xuan Kien, Director of the Military Medical Department (Ministry of National Defense), affirmed that in the research and production of vaccines, the military forces closely coordinate with research and development units to prevent COVID-19. -19 roll out clinical trials.
“We hope and believe that Vietnam will soon have a vaccine so that the army – the frontline force against the epidemic in particular, and the people in general can use the “weapons” we produce to join the whole world. people actively and effectively prevent and combat epidemics,” said the director of the Military Medical Department.
Leaders of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also affirmed that they will closely coordinate and support the units when conducting phase 3 trials abroad.
“Hopefully by the end of the third quarter of 2021, Vietnam will have the first vaccine to prevent and control the COVID-19 epidemic, researched and produced by Vietnamese scientists, serving the domestic epidemic prevention and control. “- Dr. Nguyen Ngo Quang affirmed.
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam acknowledged the efforts of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Science and Technology, especially the research and development units of vaccines in the past time, in line with the spirit of “fighting the epidemic like fighting the enemy”. but need to continue more urgently.
The Deputy Prime Minister reiterated the opinion of experts and scientists that the SARS-CoV-2 virus may have changes and continue to exist for a few more years. Up to this moment, it is likely that the vaccines against COVID-19 have to be repeated, not 1 batch, or 1 year.
Vietnam’s population is 100 million people, so we must use solutions to get Vietnam’s vaccines, not only for the prevention of the COVID-19 epidemic, but also to prepare to deal with those who are facing serious challenges. disease outbreaks in the future. The successful development of vaccines in the country also affirms the capacity, prestige and pride of the Vietnamese medical science team.
There is no policy to self-import COVID-19 vaccines
Also at the meeting, after reporting on the implementation of Astrazena vaccination, information that many people understood that companies were allowed to import COVID-19 vaccines to Vietnam for injection, leaders of the Ministry of Health affirmed the Resolution 21/NQ-CP of the Government on the purchase and use of vaccines against COVID-19 has assigned the Ministry of Health to assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with relevant ministries, agencies and localities in purchasing, importing and receiving receive aid, sponsor, administer and use COVID-19 vaccines. Therefore, the Ministry of Health does not have a policy for companies and enterprises to self-import COVID-19 vaccines for injection.
Currently, licensed companies producing COVID-19 vaccines around the world have direct contact with the Ministry of Health.
Vaccines that are licensed by the Ministry of Health in Vietnam can only be imported by businesses with the function of importing vaccines, but the current vaccination must be under the general coordination of the Ministry of Health, in accordance with the spirit of the Ministry of Health. high-risk subjects are vaccinated first as stated in Resolution 21/NQ-CP. Vaccination against COVID-19 must be performed by medical facilities of the health sector.