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Vietnam to test second Covid-19 vaccine on humans next month

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HCMC – The human trial of Vietnam’s second Covid-19 vaccine, Covivac, produced by the Khanh Hoa-based Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), is expected to begin next month.

At a ceremony to kick-start the trial process on January 21, IVAC officially announced a plan to choose volunteers for the injection of the vaccine, the local media reported.

Covivac has been studied since May 2020. The pre-clinical research for the vaccine has been conducted in India, the United States and Vietnam and the vaccine has been proved safe for people to be injected.

Pham Van Tac, head of the Administration of Science Technology and Training, said Covivac had produced a strong immune response and was suitable for Vietnam’s infrastructure.

According to Dr Duong Huu Thai, head of IVAC, the vaccine had been tested on animals and was proved to be safe and able to elicit high antibody levels to the coronavirus.

The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology will coordinate with the Hanoi Medical University to conduct the trial injection of the vaccine under the supervision of the Ministry of Health.

Professor Dr Dang Duc Anh, head of the institute, said people who are injected with the vaccine will be monitored at the Hanoi Medical University for the first 24 hours. After 28 days, they will receive the second shot.

In the second phase of the trial, volunteers will be injected with the vaccine at the medical center of Vu Thu District of Thai Binh Province.

At the ceremony, a representative of the Ministry of Health affirmed that safety would be the top priority during the research and testing of Covivac.

According to the ministry, the first phase of the injection will need 120 volunteers, who will be divided into five groups, with three groups being injected with a respective dosage of one, three and 10 micrograms of the vaccine without excipients, one group receiving one microgram of Covivac with excipients and one receiving the vaccine with placebos.

If the vaccine proves to be safe and effective, the second phase will be conducted with higher dosages.

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