The World Health Organization has officially named Vietnam as the fifth country in the Western Pacific region to meet requirements to produce vaccines for the global market, with reports in April suggesting the government expects to have a 6-in-1 vaccine ready for the market next year.
The Thanhnien News, citing a WHO statement released Sunday, said the official recognition of Vietnam's vaccine as fit for worldwide use followed a grand review last April.
Vietnam's struggle to reach that status began in 2001 when it established its Drug Regulatory Authority and sought to make it and associated ministries and agencies capable of meeting international standards. The WHO gave it a rating of more than 90% on its first attempt.
Vietnam has exported four vaccines to four countries, the news website said, with measles vaccine to Malaysia, hepatitis B vaccine to South Korea, diarrhea vaccine to East Timor and hepatitis C vaccine to the Philippines.
Vietnam has joined a crowded field. Malaysia, Indonesia, China and India also plan similar goals for domestic and export use, while GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) has also moved to claim a stake in the global market in its deal with Novartis ($NVS), while companies such as Sanofi Pasteur and Takeda eye Asian markets for dengue and other diseases.