Vaccine production: Vietnam promotes research, technology transfer

06:00 | 22/08/2021 Science - Technology

(VEN) - Vietnam has sought and received Covid-19 vaccine supplies via diplomatic channels. In addition, it is promoting research and technology transfer for vaccine production and has achieved initial successful results.

vietnam promotes research technology transfer

NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue visits a vaccine research and production laboratory of the Vietnam Military Medical University

Goal of 170 million doses in 2021

Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said the pandemic has caused deaths and economic losses all over the world, including Vietnam. Under the direction of the Party and the State, localities have activated the entire array of epidemic prevention and control tools, prepared responsive scenarios to actual situations, and applied appropriate testing, distancing and isolation.

The ministry has dispatched nearly 7,000 staff from central and local medical agencies to provide aid for Ho Chi Minh City and southern provinces. “In general, localities are trying to control the situation soon and have seen positive signals,” said Minister Long.

Since early 2020, the Government has directed the drastic implementation of the strategy, including vaccine imports, transfer of vaccine production technologies from other countries, research and production of domestically-made vaccines, and a mass vaccination drive. The first vaccine supply agreement was signed in September 2020 for 38.9 million Covax doses followed by a contract signed with AstraZeneca for 30 million doses, and others with Pfizer, Russia and other countries.

“So far, we have signed commitments, agreements, contracts and received more than 130 million doses from China, the US, Japan, Australia, the UK and other countries and we are trying to negotiate over 40 million additional doses to bring the total to 170 million in 2021,” said Minister Nguyen Thanh Long.

In July alone, more than 12 million doses were transferred to pandemic-hit localities, provinces and cities which are economic locomotives and other provinces to provide vaccinations to priority groups identified by the government. “The vaccination campaign has been launched and is accelerating from now until the end of the year,” he said.

Door opened for vaccine research

According to Minister Nguyen Thanh Long, Vietnam is the first country in Southeast Asia to conduct phase 3 clinical trials on Covid-19 vaccines. By August 2021, research teams will all have had their second jab of the vaccine and will therefore be able to carry out the registration process as prescribed.

Vietnam has signed three agreements for the transfer of Covid-19 vaccine production technology with Russia, the US, and Japan. Initial batches of the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine have been packaged and will be evaluated in Russia before being put into mass production in Vietnam. The tech transfer for the vaccine will be completed by the end of this year. Meanwhile, the transfer agreement with the US that offers the highest technology will be tested in August. A factory with a 200 million vaccine dose capacity is currently under construction and will be put into operation in the first half of 2022.

In fact, the Vietnam Military Medical University has recently coordinated closely with relevant ministries and sectors to accelerate the phase 3 clinical trials of the Nanocovax vaccine.

The academy has also successfully researched and manufactured a test kit to detect the new strain of corona virus in real-time, using the RT-PCR method in more than 100 medical facilities around the country and exported to 18 countries around the world. It also continues to research and successfully manufacture the Amphabio PCR test kit that can test large quantities quickly and is currently being used effectively in Bac Giang Province.

Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Development Research Institute Dr. Tran Hoang Ngan said the Delta variant infects very quickly, which requires faster response in developing vaccines. According to a report by the Ministry of Health, Vietnam has produced the Nanocovac and Covivac vaccines with successful test results, reflecting Vietnam’s progress in biotechnology.

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue: Vaccines are a strategic weapon for ending and eradicating the disease. The 13th Party Congress has set a key task of controlling the Covid-19 pandemic and mass Covid-19 vaccination.

Quynh Nga