Vietnam starts human testing of the coronavirus vaccine

A Vietnamese pharmaceutical company began testing a coronavirus vaccine on volunteers in Hanoi on Thursday, as developing countries clash with wealthier nations to access affordable vaccinations.

Nanogen’s Nanocovax is one of four under development in Vietnam, and a company rep said it should cost around $ 5 a dose.

Three volunteers received the shot on Thursday and will be monitored for 72 hours at Vietnam Military Medical University.

Nguyen Ngo Quang from the health ministry said 60 participants will receive the vaccine in the first phase of the trial.

University director Do Quyet said medical staff were well-trained in case participants developed problematic side effects.

“We all think Covid is our enemy, so we are preparing for a battle … We have to prepare very carefully and we must win (this battle),” he told reporters, describing the work on the clinical trial.

Vietnam has garnered worldwide acclaim for its handling of the pandemic – with just over 1,400 cases and 35 deaths in a country of around 96 million people.

It is feared that at least one-fifth of the world’s population may not have access to a Covid-19 vaccine until 2022, according to a study published Wednesday.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that wealthy nations – who make up just 14% of the global population – have pre-ordered just over half of the vaccine doses expected to be produced by the top 13 developers next year.

Researchers said Canada had ordered the equivalent of four doses per person, the United States reserved just enough for one vaccine course per person, while countries like Indonesia reserved less than one vaccine course. every two people.

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