Human trials of Thailand’s Covid-19 vaccine to begin next month

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Thailand’s Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, says the first stage of human trials of a locally-produced vaccine will get underway next month. The jab is a joint collaboration between the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation and the Faculty of Tropical Medicine of Mahidol University. It’s understood the vaccine has performed satisfactorily in animal testing, showing an ability to stimulate immunity.

Pannee Pitisutthitgan from the Tropical Medicine Department says human trials will take place in 3 stages. Phase 1 will involve 210 volunteers and will be conducted over 2 months, to determine the ideal dosage. In phase 2, researchers will trial 2 of the most effective dosages on 250 participants, with the aim of gaining enough data to move to phase 3 by the end of 2021.

Once the vaccine has successfully completed all 3 phases, the vaccine manufacturers will seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration and, once that has been granted, the jab will go into production locally.

According to a Thai PBS World report, Kiatipoom Wongrachit from the Public Health Ministry, says the GPO is very experienced in the production of flu vaccines and is collaborating with Mahidol University’s Faculty of Tropical Medicine, with support from the US-based Program for Appropriate Technology in Health.

Meanwhile, Veerapong Poomirattanaprapin, from the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, says his department has more than 30 years’ experience in testing various vaccines, including those used against bird flu, dengue fever, cervical cancer, HIV, and the seasonal flu. He adds that the Thai volunteers in next month’s trials will be either given the vaccine or a placebo. Those who show positive results will also take part in phase 2 trials.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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