COVID-19 vaccine testing has begun in Vietnam on monkeys, according to the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production (Vabiotech) under the country's Ministry of Health.
The company in late October started trials on 12 rhesus macaques, a kind of monkey of the Macaca mulatta family, Vietnam News Agency reported on Monday.
The results of the testing on monkeys will be a foundation for the next stage for testing the vaccine on humans, said the report.
The trials took place on an island off the northern Quang Ninh province, with the monkeys aged between three and five, weighing more than 3 kg each and being divided into two groups, the news agency quoted Vabiotech Director Do Tuan Dat as saying.
After being vaccinated, the monkeys would be monitored for three months, before their blood samples are taken for further analysis.
The testing would follow a similar model that maybe later performed on humans. The animals would be injected two shots of the vaccine, 18 to 21 days apart.
A month after the second shot, researchers will assess the monkeys' immune response to see the difference between the injected group and the non-injected group, according to the newspaper.
Earlier in June, Vabiotech tested the vaccine on mice. Data was already collected from the mice tests.
Vietnam confirmed 1,180 cases of COVID-19 with 35 deaths from the disease as of Sunday, according to the Ministry of Health. The country has gone through 60 straight days without any new cases in the community.