| Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long speaks at the event
Long made the statement at a July 22 seminar aimed at seeking ways to facilitate the research, production, clinical trials, and registration for the use of a COVID-19 vaccine in Vietnam.
He underscored the importance of research and production of the vaccine to eradicate the epidemic, saying the country has a National Regulatory Authority of Vaccines (NRA) system that meets standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Long went on to underline the need to strengthen co-operation between the government, management agencies, vaccine manufacturers, researchers, and other related stakeholders in an effort to successfully develop a COVID-19 vaccine in the near future, a breakthrough that is expected to make a significant contribution in the global fight against the pandemic.
Vu Huong, Regional Technical Advisor of the Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access, said that as of July 15, there were a total of 163 candidate vaccines in development, of which 23 vaccines were being trialed on humans, with the remaining 140 candidates in the preclinical stage, including vaccines being developed by Vietnam.
At present, Vietnam is one of 42 countries capable of producing vaccines and one of 38 countries setting up a vaccine management unit in line with WHO standards, paving the way for cooperation with other countries in exporting vaccines.
At the seminar, representatives from relevant ministries and international organisations reported on the research and development of potential COVID-19 vaccines globally, as well as preliminary results and the research plan for a COVID-19 vaccine by four local manufacturers, namely VABIOTECH, POLYVAC, IVAC, and NANOGEN.
Delegates also discussed a number of draft regulations relating to production, research, clinical trials, and registration for the use of a COVID-19 vaccine domestically, before agreeing on plans to carry out these activities in the near future.
Acting Minister Long directed vaccine manufacturers and research units to ramp up production of the COVID-19 vaccine, while subsidiary units under the NRA should accelerate the process of evaluating documents at clinical trials and grant licenses for the circulation of the vaccine as quickly as possible.