Vietnam’s government has called for “copyright exemption” to the Covid-19 vaccine and also said it would “produce vaccines by themselves for domestic use next year.”
Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday, May 13, called on countries to share information, exempt from copyright to early disseminate Covid-19 vaccine.
“To open up opportunities to control the spread of this dangerous epidemic, Vietnam wants countries to share information and to exempt copyrights with Covid-19 vaccine so that early vaccines can be widely disseminated in all areas all over the world,” Foreign Ministry’s Spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said at the press conference.
“Vaccines produced by Vietnam are expected to be used in 2022, to be able to actively source vaccines, ensure health supply and security, and proactively respond to pandemics in the future,” said Ms. Hang.
To date, Vietnam has had access to a number of vaccine supplies committed by the COVAX Facilities Program, from vaccine manufacturer and supplier Astra Zeneca.
Currently, Vietnam is also conducting vaccination for priority groups.
Meanwhile, the Australian and Japanese newspapers reported on Vietnam’s efforts to develop the Covid-19 vaccine.
The Sydney Morning Herald of Australia on May 13 has an article describing Hanoi as the only capital in the region that refuses to enter Beijing’s “vaccine diplomacy” path.
Dr. Do Minh Si, Director of Research and Development, Nanogen Company was quoted as saying that he hopes the Nanocovax vaccine produced by this company in conjunction with the Military Medical Academy (Ministry of Defense) will be approved soon for emergency purposes.
According to Si, the Ho Chi Minh City-based company is capable of producing 120 million doses per year and is in talks with partners in South Korea and India to produce the vaccine Nanocovax there.
Mr. Si was also quoted as saying that, unlike vaccines that require negative temperatures, the attractiveness of Nanocovax is that it can be stored in an environment of 2-8 degrees Celsius.
“This is why I strongly believe that the Vietnamese authorities are waiting for our vaccine. We cannot wait for foreign vaccines,” added Mr. Si.
The Nikkei Asia Daily on May 13 quoted Dr. Do Minh Si from Nanogen Company as saying that the final test phase (phase 3) with 10,000 people in Vietnam will be completed “in August or September” and “The vaccine production in Vietnam has achieved very positive results beyond expectations.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Nguyen Thu Anh, an expert from the Woolcock Research Institute in Hanoi and the University of Sydney, was quoted by the Australian newspaper as saying “Even if the vaccine is produced in Vietnam and that the vaccine is safe, the biggest obstacles are resources for mass production.”
“I am not sure that Vietnam has the financial resources to produce vaccines,” Thu Anh said.
The three vaccines have not yet reached the approval stage
Meanwhile, an infectious disease expert who used to work at the Ministry of Health of Vietnam wanted anonymously told the BBC that the three vaccines that are being studied for production and clinical trials in Vietnam have not yet reached the approval stage.
These three types are Nanocovax of Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Joint Stock Company in association with Military Medical Academy (Ministry of Defense), Covivac vaccine of Nha Trang Institute of Vaccine and Biologicals, and Vabiotech vaccine of One Member LLC. vaccine and biological product number 1, Ministry of Health.
It is known that the Nanocovax vaccine has nearly completed the phase 2 testing phase and Covivac is just preparing to test phase 2.
This expert is not very optimistic about the Nanocovax vaccine because it “is only a domestic company, not much experience and according to Vietnamese standards” while Covivac is “following the WHO process” and “most likely to be approved.”
“I do not believe that the Ministry of Health will approve the mass injection of Nanocovax vaccine,” added the expert.
Meanwhile, it is known that the new Vabiotech vaccine is in phase 1 of the clinical trial.