Vietnam’s health minister has announced that an indigenous pharmaceutical company and the Military Medical Academy will cooperate in running Covid-19 vaccine trials on human participants, the first of their kind in Vietnam.

Speaking on Saturday, Health Minister Professor Nguyen Thanh Long said that vaccine developers had been asked to speed up progress on their Covid-19 vaccine and commence clinical trials. 

He claimed that Ho Chi Minh City-based Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Company and the Military Medical Academy have begun recruiting trial participants, and said the jab would be administered on December 10. 

The vaccine was deemed a success in laboratory-based research and provoked an immune response in animals. 

Speaking with fellow lawmakers, the minister said he had requested that preparations were made simultaneously for stage two human trials. 

The ministry announced that 20 participants, aged between 18-40, would receive the vaccine in the first phase of the trial. Phase two trials will involve 40 volunteers. 

Testing the vaccine’s safety will be a key component to the early-stage trials. 

“We must be proactive and get the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible,” Long proclaimed. 

The minister said that government would do everything possible to create favorable conditions for vaccine production units. This includes relaxing administrative procedures and expediting registration processes. 

Nanogen’s vaccine was previously assessed as being the most promising of four vaccines under development in Vietnam. 

Researchers worldwide have been striving to develop a safe and effective vaccine to immunize people against Covid-19.

Only two vaccines – the US’s Pfizer jab and Russia’s Sputnik V – have received regulatory approval to be rolled out on a national scale.

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