Vietnam Covid-19 vaccine makes significant progress

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HANOI – A Covid-19 vaccine made by Vietnam is making significant progress, producing anti-body response on mouse trials, indication that a possible vaccine may be available not far away.

Researcher at a state-owned pharmaceutical firm developed a vaccine in cooperation with Bristol University in the UK and supported by Vingroup Innovation Foundation has been making advanced progress in research.

Mac Van Trong, one of the firm’s researcher, revealed that the vacinee has “high immunogenicity” that vital in fighting the coronavirus. It was tested last month on 50 mice and the results show impressive antibody response to the virus.

Institute Viral Department Deputy Head Nguyen Le Khanh Hang said that the results would serve as the benchmark to develop a complete vaccine.

Vabiotech has now moved the project to its second phase, the most important period in vaccine development. The vaccine will be developed into a more stable version ready for human trial.

The firm would then develop a commercial production to produce millions of units.

Trong said that the vaccine would take 9-12 months to be completed but there are effort to shorten this timeframe. According to the researcher, 18-24months is already considered an achievement compared to the  average period of 10 years to produce a normal vaccine.

Vabiotech President Do Tuan Dat said that the significant progress of the vaccine were attributed to the use of viral vectors. It is used to deliver genetic material into cells.

Dat also added that the project was VND8 billion ($345,216) by Vingroup Innovation Foundation (VinIF). Because of the funding the firm were able to upgrade the cell culture system Bioreactor to a more responsive model to the viral vector technology that the firm are currently using. As of July 1, Vietnam has recorded 352 Covid-19 cases with 23 active cases, zero deaths and zero transmission  in the past two months.

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