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Vietnam’s COVID-19 vaccine to be priced under US $22

Jasmine Le Jasmine Le

lehang1997hanu@gmail.com

December 08, 2020 | 16:01

Nanogen’s COVID-19 vaccine Nanocovax is expected to be priced at no more than VND 500,000 (US $21.62) each dose and can be covered by health insurance.

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Nanocovax is a potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate in Vietnam (Photo: VNE)
Nanocovax is a potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate in Vietnam (Photo: VNE)

Though we have yet to reach agreement with the Ministry of Health, we’re sure that each dose won’t exceed US $21,62”, a representative from Nanogen company was quoted by VNE as saying Tuesday morning.

The representative further stated that Nanocovax was reasonably priced and affordable to all Vietnamese. The company is trying to include the vaccine into the list of drugs covered by health insurance.

With Nanocovax, each person aged 12-75 will get two injections, the second one is 28 days following the first one. Immunization is expected to last for about one year, citizens must get repeated injections.

Nanogen’s COVID-19 vaccine is evaluated as safe. Side effects on mice and monkeys are “negligible”, only cause mild irritation and itching which last for only 30 minutes. Anatomy of vaccinated mice found no internal organ damages.

The health ministry earlier has assessed Nanogen’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate among the most promising, having been successfully produced it on a laboratory scale and provoked immunogenicity during animal testing.

Nanogen is capable of rolling out 2 million doses per year. In the coming 6 months, we’ll upgrade the capacity by an additional 30 million doses, ideally 50 million doses a year”, the company said.

Vietnamese researchers at Vabiotech company working on COVID-19 vaccine (Photo: VNE)
Vietnamese researchers at Vabiotech company working on COVID-19 vaccine (Photo: VNE)
COVID-19 vaccine developers at Vabiotech company (Photo: VNE)
COVID-19 vaccine developers at Vabiotech company (Photo: VNE)

Nanocovax is the first made-in-Vietnam COVID-19 vaccine to enter human trials. Nanogen partners with the Vietnam Military Medical Academy to start recruiting volunteers participating in the first phase of the human trial starting December 10. The volunteers will be given the first test shots of the vaccine a week later, as reported by VNE.

According to experts, those who are selected for participation in the COVID-19 vaccine trials must be healthy volunteers who are suffering from no underlying illnesses and have no medical history. These individuals will be carefully questioned about their health history, along with any allergies to drugs, food, or other things before they get vaccinated, as reported by VOV.

The second phase, which involves 400 volunteers, is expected to start three months after the first phase.

Nanocovax is scheduled to go into mass vaccination in May 2021.

A Vietnamese researcher working on COVID-19 vaccine (Photo: VNA)
A Vietnamese researcher working on COVID-19 vaccine (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam has four Covid-19 vaccines produced by Nanogen, Vabiotech, Polyvac and the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) currently under research.

Vabiotech, Polyvac are currently evaluating their vaccines on animals, having completed the laboratory-scale production process.

Meanwhile, IVAC will continue to cooperate with Russia and “actively contact with China to have access to China’s vaccine”.

On global scale, there are currently 11 COVID-19 vaccine candidates under the third phase of human trials. Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine (the US) is the first vaccine to complete the trials with 95 percent effectiveness and granted the emergency use authorization from the UK and Bahrain.

Meanwhile, Moderna’s vaccine is on its final clinical trial phase, with effective rate reaches 94.5 percent. Oxford/ AstraZeneca is 70-90 percent effective, depending on the injection dose. Russia’s Sputnik V (95 percent effective) is scheduled to begin mass vaccination next week.

Moderna’s vaccine is priced at 37 USD per dose, meanwhhile Pfizer’s vaccine and Oxford’s vaccine are more resonably priced at 19 USD and 3 UDD per dose, respectively.

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Jasmine Le