Vietnam vaccine management meets international standards: WHO

A scientist at work at the Centre for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals in Ha Noi. Photo: VNN/ANN

HA NOI (VNS) - The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recognised Viet Nam's vaccine management system as an internationally standardised one and is expected to officially present a certificate to Viet Nam today.

Truong Quoc Cuong, director of the Ministry of Health's Drug Administration of Viet Nam (DAV), shared the news at a Friday press conference.

Cuong said the recognition demonstrated that made-in-Viet Nam vaccines were on par with those available around the world. It would also open a window of opportunity for the country's vaccine industry to grow towards export activities.

A growing industry

Viet Nam makes 10 out of the 12 vaccines used in the national vaccination programme, which provides vaccinations for 1.7 million newborns annually.

Domestic producers make vaccines for orders placed by the State and have their vaccines' selling prices fixed by the State. This explains why the price of domestically made vaccines is usually only one-third of what imported vaccines cost.

However, domestic vaccine makers enjoy preferential treatment from the State, such as bank loans with annual interest rates as low was 2 - 3 per cent.

DAV Director Cuong told the press conference that the official upgrading of Viet Nam's vaccine industry was a big step forward, promoting both domestic and export production.

Viet Nam currently exports cholera vaccines to Timor-Leste, Hepatitis B to South Korea, Hepatitis C to the Philippines and the measles vaccine to Malaysia.

A number of international organisations, including UNICEF, have reportedly placed orders for vaccines from Viet Nam.

The WHO's recognition is reviewed every three years.