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Việt Nam must produce COVID-19 vaccines no later than June 2022, says PM

Update: June, 25/2021 - 11:43
Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính (centre) visits Medicon Company in An Khánh Commune, Hoài Đức District, Hà Nội on Thursday afternoon. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam must be able to produce COVID-19 vaccines no later than June 2022, according to Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính.

“We have important premises to be able to achieve the goal soon,” said PM Chính on Thursday afternoon while he visited the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 in Hà Nội.

Việt Nam has a tradition in research and production of vaccines, he added.

Chính said the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology was the largest and oldest research facility in the country.

Việt Nam already produces 11 of 12 vaccines in the expanded vaccination programme, eliminating many dangerous diseases such as polio and neonatal tetanus, he said.

The second premise was that Việt Nam's facilities had been researching and testing a number of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as making a variety of products and medical supplies for pandemic prevention, he said.

The third premise was that the tradition of Vietnamese people, he said.

“The more difficulties and challenges we meet, the more determination and unity we keep,” he said.

Chính also said the country must promote the spirit of independence and self-reliance according to the Resolution of the 13th Party Congress, overcoming all difficulties to produce vaccines.

To reach the goal, he tasked the Ministry of Health and other agencies to focus on technology transfer, research and vaccine production.

The Ministry of Justice was assigned to soon complete mechanisms and policies for technology transfer, research and vaccine production, he said.

Chính also agreed to spend a part of the State budget on public-private co-operation for technology transfer, research and producing vaccines.

He told agencies to improve the quality of human resources of the vaccine sector because human resources were decisive for the success of vaccine production.

Chính ordered the agencies to provide incentives for facilities to serve technology transfer, research and production of vaccines.

Vaccine production progress

Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long said some businesses had invested in factories and were seeking domestic and international vaccine production technology to run at least one large-scale vaccine factory at the beginning of next year.

The ministry is also urging the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 (Vabiotech) to quickly receive Russia's Sputnik V vaccine production technology in two phases.

During the first phase, it plans to import semi-finished products, making use of Vabiotech's infrastructure to package the Sputnik V vaccine in Việt Nam in June for trials. The official package would be implemented from July, he said.

The firm aims to build a new factory to expand packaging capacity to 100 to 150 million doses per year in the second phase. At the same time, the ministry would continue negotiating with partners for technology transfer and construction of a factory for Sputnik V vaccine production in Việt Nam, he said.

The health sector also plans to promote research and technology transfer for COVID-19 vaccine production, develop diagnostic techniques to reduce the burden on medical staff and research and manufacture products for the “new normal” situation, including hats for labourers to work without masks.

Also on Thursday afternoon, Chính visited Medicon Company in the capital, which specialises in producing quick COVID-19 tests.

The company has manufactured COVID-19 quick tests with a capacity of about 120,000 tests per day since the first outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Chính applauded the company's creativity and initiative for producing the quick tests rapidly after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, providing quick tests at only a third of the price of imported products with the same quality.

Chính told the company to continue expanding its scale, research and make more products to serve the community and contribute to the country. — VNS