|Vials containing Sputnik V vaccine produced in Karagandy, Kazakhstan. — XINHUA/VNA Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The Vietnamese health ministry has approved Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine named Gam-COVID-Vac, popularly known as Sputnik V, for emergency use in COVID-19 prevention and control in the country.
It is the second COVID-19 vaccine to be authorised for use in Việt Nam, after the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
The Drug Administration of Việt Nam at the Ministry of Health is responsible for the imports of the vaccine and for complying with regulations on imported vaccine quality management.
Meanwhile, the Administration of Science Technology and Training under the health ministry is tasked with rolling out clinical assessment in Việt Nam on the safety and immune response of the vaccine.
Although the third phase of the clinical trial has not been completed, the Russian-developed vaccine has been approved in 56 countries so far and has been shown to be 91.8 per cent effective against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
This Russian COVID-19 vaccine can also be stored in a conventional refrigerator (2-8 degrees Celsius), similar to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, without the need for super cold chain storages like the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.
The Sputnik V vaccine’s approval in Việt Nam, one of the most populated countries in Southeast Asia, “will provide for protecting the people and getting closer to lifting the restrictions imposed because of coronavirus,” Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which is responsible for the exports of the vaccine, said in a statement following the news.
"Russia and Việt Nam have a long history of partnership which comprises many areas of co-operation, including the joint fight against the pandemic,” he added.
Earlier in February, health minister Nguyễn Thanh Long said Việt Nam is in talks with Sputnik V producer and the Russian side said they could supply some 60 million doses to Việt Nam, along with a potential licence to produce the vaccine in Việt Nam, but no further details regarding the deal have been available since then. — VNS