Vietnam Completes First Phase of Homemade COVID-19 Vaccine Test

Vietnamese health experts have completed the first-phase clinical test of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine, named Nanocovax and developed by Vietnamese producer Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, with 120 shots of different volumes for 60 volunteers, state media reported. Local experts evaluated that Nanocovax had produced good immune responses and was even effective with new virus variants. Nanocovax volunteers have so far been in good health conditions, in which some had pains and light fever but all disappeared from one to two days after injection. Local health authorities plan to continue testing Nanocovax on 560 volunteers in six months for the second phase and 10,000 volunteers in some pandemic-hit countries for the third phase, aiming to complete tests in early 2022. Nanocovax has become the country’s first homegrown COVID-19 vaccine to enter clinical tests, with first shots on December 17 last year. Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has expressed his confidence in developing local COVID-19 vaccines, saying that besides Nanocovax, two more local producers have started to enter the first phase of clinical tests. The health ministry has also approved a vaccine from the UK’s AstraZeneca PLC for domestic inoculation hours after Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said late on January 29 that the country must have a vaccine in the first quarter. (VnEconomy, VnEconomy, ncov.moh)