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More than 13,000 volunteers are expected to join the third phase of human trials for the COVID-19 vaccine Nano Covax – the most promising Vietnamese-made vaccine to date.
The trial is expected to be completed in August, paving the way for vaccine authorisation after reviews of data.
The vaccine has been developed by the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC who began researching it in May last year. Its first phase trials began on December last year, the second phase started in late February this year, the third on June 11.
About a week ago, Nanogen appealed for an approval for emergency use for its COVID-19 vaccine Nano Covax while only 1,000 people have been administered the experimental shot in the phase 3.
According to the company, Nano Covax’s immunogenicity reached 99.4 per cent, equally to those of other COVID-19 licensed vaccines in the world.
A single dose of Nano Covax will cost around VNĐ 120,000 (US$5.2).
Responding to the call, the Health Ministry on Friday morning organised an urgent meeting with relevant agencies, discussing the progress and expansion of the third phase trial of the vaccine.
According to the National Ethnic Council under the Ministry of Health, the Nano Covax vaccine is safe and initially proved to have immunogenicity and protective efficiency. However, to assess it further, samples and lab-based evidence are needed.
The health ministry, HCM City Pasteur Institute and Military Medical Institute on Friday agreed to speed up the third phase administrating it to 13,000 volunteers who would all receive their first dose by June 15 and the second doses by August 15.
The trial’s results must be reported to the health ministry by the end of August.
As only 1,000 volunteers received their first doses, the other 12,000 including 4,000 in Hưng Yên Province, 2,000 in Long Anh and 6,000 on Tiền Giang would be injected from Friday (June 25).
The National Ethnic Council expected to consider licensing the vaccine in September after the third phase was finished and assessed.
Professor and Dr Phùng Đắc Cam, a member of the National Ethnic Council said it was too early to talk about licensing Nano Covax as the company had yet to submit reports on the second phase of the vaccine trial and the third phase had just started.
Early this week, Deputy Director of the Health Ministry’s Department of Science, Technology and Training Nguyễn Ngô Quang said before a vaccine can be widely administered to the people, the ministry needs data on safety, immunogenicity and protective efficacy.
In the case of the Nanocovax vaccine, only 1,000 people have been administered the experimental shot in phase 3 which started on June 11, still a small number, Quang said.
This article was originally published in Vietnamnews