Human trials of a locally manufactured Covid-19 vaccine could begin as early as the end of the year, according to Thailand’s Minister of Higher Education. Thailand is currently testing several vaccines. This one involves the government, Chulalongkorn University’s Centre of Excellence in Vaccine Research and Development, the National Vaccine Institute, the Department of Medical Sciences and the private sector.
“If our vaccine trial on monkeys proves successful, we will start the human trial phase after August.”
The world history of successful vaccines for coronaviruses has been poor up to this stage and most scientists agree it could take several years to bring a viable vaccine to market with a high success rate.
But the minister says a research team tested their mRNA vaccine on guinea pigs before moving to monkeys, identified as long-tailed macaques, better known as rhesus monkeys, which have a similar genetic structure to humans.
The vaccine will be tested on monkeys for 3 months in the next phase of the process. If all three test phases are successful, the team will start the human trial phase and, if successful, the government could make the vaccine available next year if it passes all the stringent international testing regimes.
“We are using mRNA technology, the newest method for developing vaccines, because the vaccine can be developed rapidly and small amounts can be used to run tests.”
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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