WHO considers a proposal to produce COVID vaccine using mRNA technology in Vietnam

Injecting COVID-19 vaccine for doctors and nurses at Ha Dong General Hospital.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has just said that it is considering an offer from an unnamed vaccine manufacturer in Vietnam to become a center for the production of COVID-19 vaccines using mRNA technology, according to Reuters.

Last week, Vietnamese media reported that the Ministry of Health is looking to receive mRNA technology, currently being used by BioNTech and Pfizer to produce vaccines against COVID, for domestic production.

It is known that the vaccine is manufactured using mRNA technology that prompts the human body to make a protein, which is part of the virus, to trigger an immune response.

“A vaccine manufacturer in Vietnam has expressed interest in becoming an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine technology transfer hub,” WHO Representative in Vietnam, Kidong Park, told Reuters in a statement announced via email on May 12, a day after the Ministry of Health announced that it was seeking access to mRNA technology.

Park said this proposal is being considered by WHO and said that the organization hopes Vietnam will also register for “large-scale production” of a COVID-19 vaccine using mRNA technology.

According to Reuters, Mr. Park did not say which manufacturer had proposed a plan to produce a vaccine using this technology.

In April, the WHO said it was looking to expand the production capacity and scale of vaccine production in low- and middle-income countries to help control the pandemic.

If Vietnam is to host an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine technology transfer center, it will contribute to the production of an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine in Vietnam as well as in the region,” Park told Reuters.

Technology company BioNTech on May 10 announced plans to establish a regional center and an mRNA vaccine factory in Singapore with a capacity of up to several hundred million doses of vaccine per year once in operation. operational in 2023.

According to Vietnamese media, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long directed to “urgently negotiate to buy the most advanced technology package (mRNA technology) for production in Vietnam” and “participate in mechanisms to shared World Health Organization technology.”

Vietnam is currently unable to produce a COVID-19 vaccine domestically and is receiving it for free through the COVAX program, an international mechanism to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines globally.

According to the US Embassy in Hanoi, on May 16, the second batch of COVAX vaccine arrived in Vietnam. This shipment of nearly 1.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is among the 4.1 million doses of the vaccine that COVAX has committed to providing free support to Vietnam. With $2 billion in funding, the US is the largest contributor to the COVAX program.

Earlier, the Ministry of Health on the same day said that it is expected that more than 1.68 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine through the COVAX program will be delivered to Vietnam. It is known that the British-made AstraZeneca is used in the COVAX program. Vietnam on May 8 reported its first death after receiving this vaccine.

In addition, Vietnam also ordered vaccines against COVID-19 from the US, Pfizer from the US, and Sputnik V from Russia. According to the Ministry of Health, on May 14, Vietnam negotiated to buy 31 million doses of Pfizer vaccine, out of a total of 110 million doses to be provided this year. Vietnam has also registered to buy from 50 to 150 million doses of Russian-made vaccines and expressed its desire to cooperate with Russia in establishing domestic production of Sputnik V.

Vietnam is currently entering the final stage of testing a domestically produced vaccine and according to the government, the domestic vaccine Covivac is expected to be put into use next year.

The Ministry of Health said that so far, more than 977,000 people living in Vietnam have been vaccinated against COVID-19, accounting for about 1% of the country’s population. In which, more than 22,500 people have been vaccinated with 2 doses of coronavirus vaccine.

Thoibao.de (Translated)

Source: https://www.voatiengviet.com/a/who-xem-xet-de-nghi-san-xuat-vaccine-covid-cong-nghe-mrna-o-viet-nam/5893609.html