Vietnam’s 2nd COVID-19 Vaccine Based on New Virus Variant: Health Ministry

Vietnam’s second homegrown coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine, developed by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), is based on a new SARS-CoV-2 variant, said Dr. Pham Van Tac, head of the Administration of Science Technology and Training, under the Ministry of Health. Mr. Tac revealed the information at a launching ceremony of the vaccine clinical tests in Hanoi Medical University on January 21. IVAC Head Dr. Duong Huu Thai added that the second COVID-19 vaccine or Covivac has been studied and developed since May last year and gained positive tests from some pre-clinical tests in India, the U.S., and Vietnam. Covivac is developed by Newcastle disease virus (NDV) vaccine vector, which is also used to produce current vaccines against seasonal flu in Vietnam. Hanoi Medical University started recruiting volunteers aged 18-75 for the first and second phases of vaccine trials on January 21 and planned to test the vaccine on humans in February. Each Covivac vaccine volunteer will receive VND2.7 million ($116.3) for nine post-injection medical checks. (Bo Y Te, ncov.moh, ncov.moh)