Expected from exporting vaccines “made in Vietnam”

VCN – According to the statistic of the Ministry of Health, it showed Vietnam is one of 42 countries that could produce vaccines and is one of 39 countries recognized by the World Health Organization on achieving international standards in managing vaccines. With the above achievements, many people expected that the door to exporting vaccines to the world market is opening.
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Vietnam's vaccine production technology is highly appreciated by the world. Photo: DN.

Many projects are urgently completing

It is known that until now, Vietnam has already produced 10 types of vaccine, including eight vaccines used in the National Expanded Program on Immunization. According to Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, Vietnam currently has four vaccine manufacturing plants and has produced many types of vaccines such as for tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, measles, polio, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, Japanese encephalitis B, Typhim Vi,... In particular, since April 2018, measles-rubella vaccine (MRVAC) produced in Vietnam is also deployed in the regular immunization program in the whole country.

Besides that, Deputy Minister of Health also informed that Vietnam is actively researching and self-producing vaccines to protect children from serious diseases. Accordingly, the Institute of Vaccine and Medical Biologicals was assigned to implement the project "vaccines for research and development of seasonal influenza vaccines", to prevent 3 strains of influenza A (H1N1, H3N2) and influenza B in the period 2015-2019.

The results of quality testing and pre-clinical studies in experimental animal models showed that the influenza vaccines produced by the Institute of Vaccine and Medical Biologicals met quality standards; met the requirements of safety, good intramuscular glucose tolerance and good immune response in laboratory animals in accordance with recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and regulations of Vietnam.

"The project was checked and took over in May 2018 and has already submitted dossiers, which are waiting for approval by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Science and Technology. It is expected that in the beginning of 2019, the vaccine will be introduced to the domestic market and progress to export,” the Deputy Minister of Health said.

At the same time, the Institute of Vaccine and Medical Biologicals also carried out the project "Research on the production of 5-in-1 vaccines, in the form of solutions". In the future, the Institute expects to conduct self-production 5-in-1 vaccine (prevention of diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, hepatitis B and Hib(Haemophilus influenza type B)). Currently, the research of vaccine is in the process of animal studies and preparing for tempering.

The Deputy Minister of Health also informed the project "Research for developing vaccine products of Japanese encephalitis B virus in Vero cell" by VABIOTECH Limited Company implemented and expected to complete in 2019. Until now, the vaccine has been clinically tested in Phase 3 and evaluated for safety on volunteers. The company is preparing applications for registration of circulation for vaccine Japanese encephalitis virus on Vero cell (JECEVAC) in Vietnam.

"In the future, enterprises will continue clinical tests to evaluate the level of antibody retention in 12 months after immunizing with two injections and the effectiveness of a repeated injection (dose 3) vaccine for Japanese encephalitis; At the same time, complete the cell culture process to produce Japanese encephalitis vaccine in the production scale of 1-2 million doses per year," Mr. Long said.

The beyond target is export

According to Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, the global market for vaccines has huge value so that in the orientation for research and producing vaccines “made in Vietnam”, it needed to transfer science value in domestic vaccine field into products with high commercial value, to satisfy the requirements of the domestic and export market.

In order to actualize this goal, according to Deputy Minister Nguyen Thanh Long, the Ministry of Health has set the orientation from now to 2020, Vietnam would have at least seven types of vaccines that meet the requirements of the national immunization program, replace imported vaccines and moving forward to export.

In that, the type of multi-dose vaccine (5 in 1 and 6 in 1) is one of the top priorities in research and development of new vaccines in Vietnam. "Therefore, the enhancement of technology for self-producing multi-dose vaccine is an urgent requirement in the next phase,” the Deputy Minister of Health said.

Mr. Nguyen Ngo Quang, acting director of the Department of Science, Technology and Training, Ministry of Health, said that despite many difficulties and problems in terms of mechanisms, policies and technical expertise in the field of research and production of vaccines, with the enthusiasm of scientists, managers and project owners, the projects in the program have reached positive achievements. Particularly, the task of completing the production process of seasonal influenza vaccines at industrial scale led by the Institute of Vaccine and Medical Biologicals was accepted and achieved excellent results.

However, according to Mr. Quang, in order to further promote the vaccine production industry, in the future, the project management organizations should accelerate progress. To ensure the project will be completed in time for approval, preparation of the dossier for approval of projects for the next period.

"The relevant authorities, such as the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Science and Technology should enhance the guidance, supervision and support of projects and tasks in the implementation process; To timely settle difficulties and problems for the facilities," Mr. Quang said.

In addition, the Deputy Minister of Health Truong Quoc Cuong acknowledged that, Vietnam is experiencing an average income stage, people do not fully trust in vaccines produced in the country. Some people have the notion of preferring to use foreign products. Therefore, Vietnam's vaccines are mainly used for the expanded vaccination program, which is 100% free from the state budget. Therefore, the measures of propagation to change people's thoughts are also very important.

Besides that, according to Deputy Minister Truong Quoc Cuong, despite getting some achievements in research and production of vaccines, the production of the above vaccine products only stops at a small scale and has not create high commercial value. Therefore, according to Deputy Minister Truong Quoc Cuong, the problem of research and application of high technology in order to actively supply each type of vaccine is a challenge which requires management authorities and enterprises to have appropriate solutions.

By D.Ngân/Thanh Thuy

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