Vietnam to be self-sufficient in seasonal influenza vaccine by 2019

Wednesday, 2018-05-16 02:36:34
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The purification system used in the influenza vaccine production at the IVAC. (Photo courtesy to IVAC)
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NDO – The successful production of a new influenza vaccine by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) could open up a new prospect to become self-sufficient in seasonal influenza vaccines in Vietnam, an expert has said.

The IVAC has announced its successful production of IVACFLU-S vaccine for commercial use, which is capable of preventing three strains of influenza viruses, namely A/H1N1/09, A/H3N2 and B, to the Minister of Health (MOH).

According to Assoc. Prof., Dr. Le Van Be, Director of IVAC, his institute’s production line can supply 3-5 million doses and is ready to respond when a new influenza pandemic occurs.

Results of pre-clinical testing and quality assays on animal models showed that IVACFLU-S influenza vaccine meets the quality standards and requirements from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Vietnam’s regulations.

Dr. Be also said that if the IVAC flu vaccine is approved and licenced by the MOH, Vietnam would not have to import influenza vaccines from 2019, but would be self-sufficient in its vaccine sources and also capable of providing locally made vaccines to countries in the region when an influenza pandemic appears.

Particularly, due to domestic production, the price of this influenza vaccine will be 1/3 lower than the price of current imported vaccines, ie from VND80,000-120,000 per dose. This will make it easier for people to use vaccines and prevent flu outbreaks.

Currently, IVAC is proposing that the MOH recognises its production line for the influenza vaccine at a scale of 1.5 million doses per year, eligible for the production of influenza vaccines for human use.

The Nha Trang-based institute will continue to develop the production of new influenza vaccines using the core process of producing seasonal influenza vaccines following WHO recommendations. This year it plans to register two new flu vaccines.

According to Assoc. Prof., Dr. Tran Dac Phu, Head of the MOH’s Preventive Medicine Department, the successful production of the seasonal influenza vaccine is significant because Vietnam is a country with a high number of people with influenza each year, from 1.5-1.8 million, while the number of people who actively use seasonal influenza vaccines remains low.

Seasonal flu is usually benign but can become complicated, especially in babies, the elderly and pregnant women who have low resistance system. The most effective way to prevent seasonal flu is through vaccination.