Thai virologist predicts more research into Covid treatments, not vaccines

PHOTO: Kkamols/Wikimedia

Medical researchers will shift their focus from Covid vaccine development to specific Covid treatment, says one of Thailand’s top virologists. Dr Yong Poovorawan, citing the lower investment costs as a reason for the shift.

“To study a vaccine’s efficiency, it is necessary to have more than 10,000 volunteers use both real and placebo jabs. However, a study on drug efficiency involves up to 1,000 volunteers, so it requires lower investment compared to vaccine trials.”

According to a Nation Thailand report, Dr. Yong says vaccine development has to focus on curbing the spread of infection during an emergency phase, shifting to concentrating on safety once the situation improves. With Covid expected to lurk around for years to come, the move towards effective treatments will be necessary.

The medic says there is almost zero chance that a totally new Covid-19 vaccine will be developed, because a third phase of clinical trials would require significant investment. He adds that there has been no new Thai flu vaccine developed since the one launched during the 2009 flu outbreak. Furthermore, he points out that the severity of Covid-19 may decrease.

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SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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