Vietnamese Ministries Propose Using Fund to Support Domestic Vaccine Studies

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the Ministry of Health have proposed using Vietnam’s COVID-19 vaccine fund to support the research and development of domestic vaccines, local media reported. On September 8, the Government Office (GO) announced that Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh had allowed the two ministries to study solutions to use the fund for studies and clinical tests of domestic vaccines, aiming to have homemade vaccines in the soonest time. Highlighting the view of “living with the virus”, PM Chinh said that vaccines and drugs are decisive in the anti-pandemic fight, urging local scientists and health authorities to develop and license domestic vaccines as well as seek vaccines and drugs from their international networks. The government set up the COVID-19 vaccine fund in late May to receive and manage vaccines and money from domestic and foreign donors. So far, the fund has received VND8.66 trillion ($373.28 million). In mid-August, PM Chinh decided to use VND8.8 billion from the fund to support the first- and second-phase clinical tests of the Covivac vaccine developed by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC). Vietnam also has two other vaccines in human trials, namely (i) Nanocovax developed by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC and (ii) Arcturus vaccine ARCT-154 produced by Vinbiocare Biotechnology Joint Stock Company (Vinbiocare), a member of Vingroup JSC with the technology from U.S.’s Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (VnExpress, , Bao Chinh Phu)