Vietnam buys 50m doses of Spain’s first vaccine

Spain's first vaccine

Spain’s first vaccine could be authorized by the end of the year

The Catalan pharmaceutical company, Hipra, has signed a deal to supply 50 million doses of Spain’s first vaccine against Covid-19 to Vietnam. The clinical studies for the vaccine are already underway and once completed, the vaccine can begin its authorization from the Vietnamese government. 

Spain’s first vaccine is based on a platform for recombining the proteins of each of the variants of the coronavirus, a system called recombinant proteins. This design of vaccine is made to optimise safety and produce an immune response that neutralises the virus. The immune response is boosted by a substance that has been used in other vaccines for over 20 years already, a fact that Vietnam is interested in as it shows that it is tested and safe. 

The logistics of moving the vaccine and distributing it in countries a great distance away is made easier due to the fact it only needs to be normally refrigerated between two and eight degrees. The Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at -70 degrees Celcius, for comparison. 

The deal between the company and the country was signed off in Helsinki. Part of Hipra’s leadership and several representatives from the Vietnamese government had travelled to meet in the city. Hipra has been in discussion with many world organisations and governments to show the advantages of Spain’s first vaccine, make agreements for people to access the dose, and help bring an end to the pandemic. 

The vaccine is made up of two doses and can be easily adapted to deal with new variants as they arise. The process of protein recombination makes it very versatile and suitable for immunisation in the first instance, and also as a booster shot. If all trials go well, the vaccine could gain authorisation at the end of this year and in 2022 the company could produce 400 million doses.

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Written by

Claire Gordon