Coronavirus (Covid-19)Thailand

ChulaCOV-19 vaccine enters a promising third phase of trials

PHOTO: The ChulaCOV-19 vaccine could be approved for use by mid-2022. (via Chulalongkorn Hospital)

ChulaCOV-19, the mRNA Covid-19 vaccine in development by the Centre of Excellence in Vaccine Research at Chulalongkorn University, is expected to be registered by the middle of next year as it enters a promising third phase of clinical trials. The third round of trials on human test subjects is scheduled to see injections at the beginning of 2021, no later than March.

The head of the Covid-19 vaccine development project said that if testing kicks off by March at the latest, April and May will be spent analysing the test results in preparation for filing with the Food and Drug Administration barring any problems revealed in trials. They then hope to gain emergency use approval of the ChulaCOV-19 vaccine by the middle of next year.

A fourth phase trial is ready to be launched with 30,000 test subject volunteers if initial registration is approved. The trials on that scale would give data on the effectiveness as well as safety of the ChulaCOV-19 vaccine for widespread use. Research will also be undertaken to consider the vaccines as a third booster shot as hopefully the majority of Thailand will be fully vaccinated with 2 doses by the time the vaccine could legally become available for use.

The first 2 trial phases have been successful and promising, and the development team are already revising second and even third-generation vaccines that are beginning initial trials on mice now. The team aims to make ChulaCOV-19 a high-quality effective vaccine that can win World Health Organisation approval for use worldwide.

So far, things are looking bright as no significant side effects have been revealed in ChulaCOV-19 trials aside from a low fever, and the efficacy of the vaccines seems proficient against Covid-19 and several strains including the most widespread Delta variant.

As development progresses with positive results, the government has allocated 1 billion baht for materials and for producing the vaccines, plus another 1.3 billion baht for human trial expenses.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.