Made-in-Vietnam COVID-19 vaccine to be tested on older people

Do Tuan Dat, chairman of the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No 1 (VABIOTECH), said that in the coming time, some COVID-19 vaccine candidates will undergo clinical trials on humans, including the elderly.

Older people included in COVID-19 vaccine development. Photo: Vietnamnet

The elderly people are target subjects of the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic. All COVID-19 vaccine developers and manufacturers need to prove the effectiveness of vaccines with the trials on this group.

Some COVID-19 vaccine candidates will undergo clinical trials on humans, including the elderly (aged 60 and over). However, researchers will test the vaccines on low-risk subjects (18-59 years old) first, Vietnamnet reported.

Dat said vaccines have to be safe, so the researchers will choose the low-risk group of people to test first. If the test shows the vaccine is safe, the trial will be expanded to other subjects, including the elderly.

“The typical characteristic of SARS-CoV-2 virus is that it causes severe illness to the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions. Therefore, the elderly are considered the target of prevention and control of COVID-19,” he explained.

Dat went on to say that if COVID-19 vaccines cannot protect the elderly, they will not be considered sufficiently encompassing which to protect humans from the pandemic.

Some COVID-19 vaccine producers in other countries have tested vaccines on the elderly. The testing results show that safety is equivalent to the results of a trial on low-risk groups of people.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 out of 10 COVID-19 deaths reported in the country are people aged 65 and over. In Vietnam, of the 35 deaths caused by COVID-19 so far, most were elderly people with underlying diseases.

Experts explained that in the elderly, the function of body organs declines over time, while the immune system is more easily attacked by pathogens and bacteria can easily invade, causing respiratory diseases. When suffering from COVID-19, these people will have more severe complications than young people.

Meanwhile, the elderly often suffer from other diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure. When infected with SARS-CoV-2, these chronic conditions may get worse.

Currently, as many as four units are developing and producing COVID-19 vaccine in Vietnam namely the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No 1 (VABIOTECH), Center for Immunization Vaccines under the Ministry of Health, and Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC (NANOGEN).

Huong Dieu