Thailand’s hopes of having a locally made coronavirus vaccine early next year appear to have been dashed; the head of Thai team developing the vaccine said in a press briefing yesterday that Thailand will delay human trials due to limited production capacity at overseas facilities. Kiat Ruxrungtham, director of the Chulalongkorn University’s vaccine development program, said health authorities had planned human testing of the vaccine by October, but must delay that by several months as factories abroad are at full capacity.
“It is quite unfortunate but the whole world is racing towards producing a Covid-19 vaccine, and working toward human trial to secure regulatory approval. However, we are hoping that before year end, we will be able to start the human trial program.”
Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting approved 1 billion baht (31.7 million US dollars) in funding for the National Vaccine Institute to support development and production of vaccines against Covid-19 and other diseases.
From the billion baht for vaccines, 60% is to be invested in Oxford University’s vaccine program and the remainder in Thailand’s domestic program.
As of today, Thailand has reported 3,403 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 58 deaths. There has been no confirmed local transmission for 94 days.
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