Vietnam begins human attempt to test a coronavirus vaccine

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

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

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

Health ministry’s Nguyen Ngo Quang said 60 participants would receive the vaccine in the first phase of the study.

The university’s director, Do Quyet, said medical staff are well prepared should participants develop problematic side effects.

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

Vietnam has received praise worldwide for dealing with the pandemic – with just over 1,400 cases and 35 deaths in a country of roughly 96 million people.

According to a study published on Wednesday, there are concerns that at least a fifth of the world’s population may not have access to a Covid-19 vaccine by 2022.

Wealthy nations – which make up just 14 percent of the world’s population – have pre-ordered just over half the vaccine doses expected to be made by the 13 leading developers over the next year, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found.

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