Việt Nam approves Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Update: June, 13/2021 - 11:15


Vials of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. — AFP/VNA Photo

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s health ministry has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for domestic emergency use.

Developed in partnership between Germany company BioNTech and US firm Pfizer, this is the fourth vaccine to receive such authorisation, following Oxford/AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, and Sinopharm’s Vero Cell.

According to the approval decision signed by deputy health minister Trần Văn Thuấn, the product – named Comirnaty – comes in doses of 0.3ml of mRNA molecules protected by lipid nanoparticles.

The packaging is described as trays of 195 vials, with each vial holding six doses of vaccine.

The decision is made based on safety and efficacy data provided by Pfizer Việt Nam Co Ltd to the health ministry by May 28, and commitment by the company that the data has been reviewed and approved by the European Medicines Agency.

The company is expected to coordinate with the manufacturer in ensuring the standards of the Comirnaty vaccine, along with the quality of the products imported into Việt Nam.

The company is also required to work with health authorities to issue guidance on the storage, distribution and use of the vaccine for vaccination sites, assess the quality of the vaccine batches imported into the country before use, and work with the health ministry to conduct risk management of the vaccine during its use in Việt Nam.

Previously, the health ministry said it has negotiated for deal of 31 million doses of Pfizer and the first shipment could arrive likely between now and July.

Last week, during a meeting with UNICEF Representative in Việt Nam Rana Flowers, health minister Nguyễn Thanh Long has also expressed his request for COVAX Facility – the global vaccine sharing initiative – to supply Pfizer vaccine to be used for Vietnamese children aged 12-18.

As of Saturday 4pm, 1,454,221 doses of vaccines – mostly AstraZeneca – have been administered in Việt Nam since the inoculation drive started in March 8, 2021.

54,385 people have received the full two doses. — VNS