HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Health kicked off a national effort yesterday to develop and produce at least 12 vaccines for human use, in collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The ministry's programme aims to better utilise scientific and technological advances in industrial development and production of vaccines for the National Expanded Programme on Immunisation and epidemic prevention. It also aims to bolster the potential of local vaccine research, production, testing and quality control.
Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said the programme would mark a new milestone in the country's vaccine production industry, in which vaccines will be produced locally instead of imported – making them national products, as opposed to foreign ones.
"Important vaccines for humans such as the Rota virus, Japanese encephalitis B, seasonal flu, rabies, typhoid and hepatitis would be produced and sold locally in order to meet the country's demand and replace many imported vaccines one-by-one by 2020," Tien said.
At a ceremony celebrating the programme's commencement, eight vaccine research and production projects with an investment of VND100 billion (US$4.75 million) were signed by the newly launched programme, and four vaccine research and production units.
The project is part of the National Products Development Plan approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in 2010. The 2010 plan was designed to improve the production and development of local products; promote local markets; and boost exports.
According to Tien, Viet Nam has produced 10 of the 11 vaccines used in the National Expanded Programme on Immunisation, which provides free vaccinations to all children under 5. Polio was eradicated in 2000 and tetanus was eliminated in 2005 thanks to this programme, making it one of the most successful health ventures in Viet Nam so far. — VNS