Covivac is set to become the second vaccine which has been both produced and clinically tested in Vietnam.
Dr. Dương Hữu Thái, Director of IVAC, told local media that Covivac has so far been tested on animals, including mice and rabbits, with the results showing that the vaccine has successfully created a high level of immunity among animals.
With the vaccine being evaluated for its safety and protective immunity in animals, IVAC have requested that the Ministry of Health give permission to start human clinical testing, scheduled for late January, said Dr. Thái.
According to Dr. Thái, IVAC initially started conducting Covivac vaccine research in May 2020, with the aim of producing the vaccine and completing a three-phase clinical trial over the course of 18 months.
Recent months has seen IVAC scientists establish a similar manufacturing process for seasonal flu vaccines, as they use the chicken whole embryo culture technology in order to carry out the production process for their COVID-19 vaccine in a similar manner to that of the A/H5N1 influenza vaccine.
During research, strain NDV-LaSota-S was used as a vector of S protein expression of SARS-CoV-2. This is a low virulence strain that is used in many vaccines.
“Having experienced the production of various kinds of vaccines over the past decades, IVAC scientists believe in the feasibility of the COVID-19 vaccine being produced by the Institute,” said Dr. Thái.
The vaccine will be clinically tested in different groups of volunteers through three phases by the IVAC in collaboration with the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and the Hanoi Medical University.
Providing that the results are successful, the second Made-in-Vietnam COVID-19 vaccine will be commercially marketed by the end of the year.
Alongside IVAC, three other Vietnamese agencies are in the process of researching and producing COVID-19 vaccines. They are the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No1 (VABIOTECH), the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC (NANOGEN), and the Centre for Immunization Vaccines (POLYVAC).
Nano Covax, the first vaccine produced by NANOGEN, has also been tested on volunteers as part of the human clinical testing campaign which originally began on December 17, 2020.