WHO names Vietnam a new global vaccine supplier

By Thanh Tung, Thanh Nien News

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A family holds their baby for a vaccination shot in Vietnam. File photo A family holds their baby for a vaccination shot in Vietnam. File photo


Vietnam has become the 37th country and the fifth in the Western Pacific meeting requirements to produce vaccines for the global market, the World Health Organization said.
A WHO statement released Sunday said it has officially recognized Vietnam’s vaccine supplies to be fit for worldwide use, after a grand review last April.
It said many developing countries can produce quality vaccines at affordable prices like Vietnam, but only a small number of them have invested in that capacity.
WHO has been assessing Vietnam’s vaccine management since 2001 in order to grant the country its national regulatory authority (NRA) recognition to export its vaccines through WHO pre-qualification process.
Vietnam has been exporting four vaccines to four countries: measles vaccine to Malaysia, hepatitis B vaccine to South Korea, diarrhea vaccine to East Timor and hepatitis C vaccine to the Philippines.
Truong Quoc Cuong, head of the drug management department at the health ministry, said at a recent meeting that the new recognition from WHO will allow Vietnam to export all the ten vaccines it produces.
The country will target markets in Asia first, he said.
“Vietnamese vaccines can be very competitive. Many only cost a third of imported alternatives,” he said, cited by news website VietNamNet.

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