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Third phase testing successful for Vietnam Covid-19 vaccine

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FILE PHOTO: Vietnam's new vaccine is showing success in the third phase trials.

The storyline of Covid-19 in Vietnam has run very similar to Thailand with early successes and recent widespread outbreaks. Now, just as Thailand is working on a domestic mRNA vaccine, Vietnam is developing its own locally created and manufactured Covid-19 vaccine, and the progress is promising.

Vietnam, like Thailand, started strong throughout 2020, being among the first countries to detect Covid-19 infections, acting quickly to enact strong proactive defences and lockdowns, maintaining very low infection numbers, and allowing life to return to relative normality. Then around April, just like Thailand, infections started spreading, the Delta variant (and a hybrid variant) tore through the country, and now vaccine rollout has been painfully slow while record infections are wreaking havoc on Vietnam.

The development of a domestically produced vaccine could be a crucial breakthrough in speeding vaccination and recovery from the current outbreak in Vietnam. The Nanocovax vaccine is now in its third phase of trials, with human testing underway. 1,000 people volunteered for the trials and received the new vaccine.

Reports so far from Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC have found that those injected have successfully developed antibodies that fight Covid-19. The results are promising for the vaccine, with the Ministry of Health of Vietnam having reviewed the report and agreed that the vaccine is safe and seems to be highly effective.

The ministry did stipulate though that there is little data as the vaccine is new on the length of immunity the inoculation provides, so further research must be continued. But the Vietnam Ministry of Health hopes to possibly approve the vaccine for emergency use quickly and has asked Nanogen to provide research results reports for this most recent trial as well as their second phase trials by August 15.

Nanocovax is not an mRNA vaccine that uses genetically engineered messenger RNA to teach the human body to fight the vaccine, but rather a protein subunit vaccine, where a harmless portion of the virus is used. S proteins are recognized by the human body and antibodies are developed to fight it, so the body can fight off any future Covid-19 infections. The vaccine from Vietnam is made by binding these S proteins to silica nanoparticles for injection.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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