Making news

VN successfully produces inactivated seasonal influenza vaccine

The Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) of Vietnam has announced the successful production of inactivated seasonal influenza vaccine (IVACFLU-S) for commercial use.

The results were recorded after a period of study, trial and production from January 2015 to January 2018, according to IVAC.

The vaccine targets three strains of influenza: A/H1N1, A/H3N2 and B.

The production process was in line with instructions of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and was assessed to meet quality standards, IVAC said.

Quality assessment and clinical trial results showed that the vaccine met quality and safety standards and was in line with WHO’s warnings and Vietnam’s regulations.

If IVAC is licensed to produce the vaccine it will be sold between 80,000-120,000 VND (3.5-5.3 USD) per dose.

At present, Vietnam imports influenza vaccine at a price of 240,000-300,000 VND (10.6-13.3 USD) per dose.

IVAC proposed State management agencies to recognise its production line with a capacity of 1.5 million doses per year.

Influenza is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Seasonal influenza causes 250,000-500,000 fatalities and up to five million cases of severe illness across the globe every year.

If a highly virulent pandemic strain were to emerge, influenza could cause millions of fatalities around the world.

Vietnam reports more than a million cases of influenza-like illnesses every year and has reported isolated cases of avian influenza A/H5N1 in humans, a strain with a particularly high fatality rate.

The strain is being monitored for any evolution or adaptations that could turn it into a form that can spread efficiently among people, which will increase the likelihood of a pandemic.

IVAC, established in 1978 by the Ministry of Health, plans and carries out the production of vaccines and serum for the Expanded Programme on Immunisation in Vietnam and the overall prevention and treatment of diseases. It also conducts research and applies technological advances in vaccine development and production in cooperation with organisations both within and outside the country.