Sunday, November 27, 2016

Vietnam to manufacture vaccines on industrial scale

The Prime Minister has agreed to invest in the core technology to manufacture vaccines in Vietnam and has called for more private endeavors in the field in the future.

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Domestically producing vaccines has become an urgent task. Priority is being given to identifying a State agency with the ability to find other units to cooperate with and which has qualified and experienced staff. This agency will take responsibility in building modern vaccine laboratories that can produce quality vaccines and be financially autonomous.
When local demand is met, the Prime Minister also targets exporting vaccines that are in line with international standards.
Vietnam is one of just a few countries in the region that can produce it owns vaccines, the Ministry of Health (MoH) said. It already produces eleven of the 12 vaccines used in the Expanded Program on Immunization, which will give free vaccinations to Vietnamese children when beginning next year as planned.
It can, however, only produce single vaccines or certain types of material for mixed vaccines (multi-function vaccines that have from four to six vaccines in one dose). In 2019, Vietnam will no longer receive support from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) in regard to the five-in-one vaccine that protects people from diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, and Hib disease.
About 1.7 million children are born in Vietnam every year. About 10 per cent need the five-in-one vaccine, or 170,000 children. If each child had the three injections that doctors recommend, demand will be about 500,000 doses.
MoH is also making efforts to produce six-in-one vaccines in 2017 or 2018 and by 2020 these will be used widely in the country. The ministry still faces a range of difficulties in reaching its targets, however.
In November, Vietnam announced the successful production of a measles-rubella vaccine (MR) for the first time. The country is proud to be one of 25 countries around the world that can produce vaccines and is the fourth in Asia to manufacture the MR vaccine, following Japan, India, and China.
After all necessary procedures to apply for a marketing license, the vaccine will be provided within the Expanded Program on Immunization.
The MR vaccine was transferred through technology under a project on “Strengthening Capacity for Measles-Rubella Combined Vaccine Production” funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The project has been implemented by the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals (POLYVAC) since May 2013, with a budget of approximately 700 million Japanese Yen ($6.6 million).
2015 was a memorable year for Vietnam’s vaccine industry, with the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) for vaccines being officially certified by the World Health Organization (WHO). Vietnam has now established itself on the global vaccine map with the manufacture of the high quality MR vaccine using Japanese technology.
VN Economic Times


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