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15 more injected with COVIVAC vaccine

by 23 March 2021 Last updated at 18:00 PM

Vials of COVIVAC – the second COVID-19 vaccine produced by Vietnam. (Photo: VNA)
Vials of COVIVAC – the second COVID-19 vaccine produced by Vietnam. (Photo: VNA)

VTV.vn - An additional 15 people have been injected with COVIVAC – the second COVID-19 vaccine produced by Vietnam – this morning (Mar 23).

They are all volunteers participating in the state-owned Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC)'s COVIVAC vaccine trial injection programme.

Associate Professor, Dr. Pham Thi Van Anh, Director of Centre of Clinical Pharmacology, Hanoi Medical University said that as those injected have to stay for 24 hours for monitoring, the project will only inject 15 people this morning. They are between 18-59 years old.

The next round of injections is scheduled this week on March 25, also on 15 volunteers.

Earlier, on the morning of March 15, the first group of six volunteers received their first shot of the COVIVAC vaccine. After the first injection, they were kept in the clinical trial area for 24 hours so that doctors could continue to monitor, detect, promptly manage and record adverse events if any.

With the first dose, the remaining 114 people will be injected in turn in series, eight days apart each, until April 20. According to the research schedule, each round will see 12-18 people injected a day.

According to the Ministry of Health, IVAC bought insurance for all study participants to a total value of VND40 billion. This is compulsory not only in Vietnam but in all countries.

The COVIVAC vaccine is a product of the IVAC cooperation with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, University of Texas at Austin, PATH Foundation (USA) and other domestic and foreign partners.

The organiser of the trials is the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, with the coordinator for implementation being the Hanoi Medical University. The study is being independently monitored by Vietstar Biomedical Research and all data is being managed and analysed by BIOPHICS Centre (Mahidol University, Thailand).

Domestic experts have assessed that, although only tested in phase 1 through preclinical studies, it can be said that the vaccine’s quality is very good.

The expected cost of this vaccine is very cheap (preliminarily assessed at half the price of the vaccines currently available on the market). Learning from NANOCOVAX – the first home-grown COVID-19 vaccine, the process of clinical trials for phase 1 and 2 of COVIVAC will be faster.

Meanwhile, the ministry has updated the public that AstraZeneca has announced the results of its review on the basis of preliminary analysis of the phase 3 clinical trials of the AZD1222 vaccine as conducted by AstraZeneca in the US.

Of which, the data showed that the protective efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine – the first official COVID-19 vaccine approved in Vietnam – was shown to be statistically significant in terms of 79% of symptomatic COVID-19 and 100% in the prevention of severe illness and hospitalisation due to the virus.

In particular, this phase 3 trial was conducted by AstraZeneca in the US with a regimen of two doses of vaccine given four weeks apart. The protective effect of the vaccine was consistent across all racial and age groups. Notably, the protective effect of the vaccine was 80% in participants aged 65 and over, accounting for about 20% of the total number of participants in the trial.

Regarding “vaccine passports”, on March 23, Dang Anh Tuan, Head of the Communications and Branding Department of Vietnam Airlines said that the national flag carrier will be the pioneer airline to research, build and test the "vaccine passport” in Vietnam.

Accordingly, the airline had its first meeting with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on the electronic health passport project and was officially proposed by IATA to participate in testing for the IATA Travel Pass application – a secure application for mobile devices that allows travellers to electronically store and manage COVID-19 test and vaccine medical certificates needed to meet coronavirus travel requirements.

The electronic health passport will be connected to testing facilities to receive results and update the status ("Eligible" or otherwise) which the passenger must satisfy. Passengers can share this status and test results with the airline through the app before boarding at the airport.

The IATA Travel Pass has received positive feedback from the Governments of more than 70 countries and is now being tested by more than 20 airlines.

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