Nanocovax, the Vietnam’s first locally-developed coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, is expected to be ready for use domestically by the fourth quarter of 2021, the Ministry of Health said on Wednesday.
“The containment of the pandemic depends largely on the development of vaccines,” the ministry said in a statement.
It said a total of four separate Vietnamese companies were working to produce vaccines domestically, although Nanocovax was significantly further ahead in the development process.
Vietnam received its first COVID-19 vaccines in late February when 117,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, approved for use in the country in January, arrived at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat Airport.
Vietnam began offering of COVID-19 vaccinations in March, with front-line health workers and vulnerable citizens first on the list.
The South-East Asian nation said it expected to receive at least 60 million vaccine doses in 2021, 30 million of which would be provided through the World Health Organisation’s COVAX equality programme.
Another 1.3 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are expected in April through this scheme, according to the ministry.
On Feb. 26, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health had approved Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use. Health officials have also approved the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
In Aug. 2020, Vietnam registered to purchase between 50 and 150 million doses of the Russia-made vaccine, although it remains unclear exactly how many doses the country intends to buy.
As of today, Vietnam has officially recorded 2,560 coronavirus cases and 35 deaths. (Dpa/NAN)