Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says he expects Thailand to have a vaccine against the Covid-19 virus ready within 9 months, provided all goes to plan. He was speaking after a briefing on the development of the vaccine, given by representatives from Bionate Asia, the private company working on the project with Thailand’s National Vaccine Institute.
Mr. Anutin says the vaccine has already been trialled in mice, with the rodents then demonstrating some sort of immunity to the virus. The Medical Science Department is now analysing blood samples taken from the mice, to calculate the effectiveness of the potential vaccine. After that, approval will be sought from the Thai Food and Drug Administration to skip the second phase of testing, which would normally be carried out on monkeys. If granted, the candidate vaccine can then be tested on humans, with Mr. Anutin saying strict safety protocols and ethical principles will be adhered to.
A report in Thai PBS World says that out of the 1 trillion baht Thailand has obtained from public sector borrowing, 3 billion has been set aside for the development of a vaccine against Covid-19. Mr. Vitoon Wongharnkul from Bionate Asia points out that the company already has a good track record, having previously developed a vaccine for whooping cough that was approved by the World Health Organisation.
If all goes well, he expects human trials on the Covid-19 candidate vaccine to begin in July or August.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World
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