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Thailand starts human trials of local Covid vaccine

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Thailand starts human trials of local Covid vaccine | Thaiger

Thailand is beginning human trials on its locally-developed Covid-19 vaccine, while setting its sights for a rollout of the vaccine next year. While the process seems sluggish compared to other vaccines, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says the development would enable Thailand to be self-reliant as the country would not have to rely on vaccines from other nations.

“Production is expected to begin next year, with an estimated 25-30 million doses annually.”

The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation has developed a pilot NDV-HXP-S vaccine by teaming up with Mahidol University’s Tropical Medicine Department, the Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health, an American non-profit organisation, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. The vaccine consists of a inactivated virus to trigger immunity, using egg-based technology. So far, the GPO says trials have shown promising results.

“Even though we can produce vaccines in the country, it is from technology transfer and under management of the owners of the brands and technology. But today, if we are successful we can be self-reliant and determine our own direction.”

A total of 460 volunteers would be recruited for the human trials. They must be in good health and free of Covid-19. Volunteers will be screened and have their backgrounds checked and undergo health and blood checks.

Punnee Pitisuttithum, the head of the Vaccine Trial Centre at Mahidol University’s Tropical Medicine Department, said that the first human trial was conducted on 4 volunteers yeterday. Banchong Mahaisavariya, president of Mahidol University, said the first and second phases of human trials will test the safety of the vaccine and its ability to trigger immunity.

The GPO is aware of SARS-CoV-2 virus mutations so the vaccine is also being developed to help with this situation, adding that the pilot vaccine showed it was effective against the South African strain.

Chulalongkorn University is also developing its own vaccine, which uses Messenger RNA technology with human trials expected to begin soon.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 11:29 am

    “Production is expected to begin next year, with an estimated 25-30 million doses annually.”

    Premature, to put it mildly, since the vaccine hasn’t even been tested on one person yet. 😯

  2. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 11:56 am

    This is not a Thai vaccine. This is an American vaccine that Thais are assisting in developing.
    All Thais can do is copy.
    Putting white coats on monkeys does not make them scientists.

  3. Avatar

    Manu

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    @ Isaan J: Why “Premature”? “The beggining of next year” is at the very earliest 10 months away… this is more time than the time needed to do all vaccines currently out there. I personally like people that question things as nothing is always black or white, shame your questioning is always going the wrong way for the sake of…well I do not know.

    @ Toby A: I find it amazing that you constantly criticise IJ for spending all his time commentating here, but everytime I look at the comments below articles, sure enough there is also one or more from you too. At least IJ has convictions (all of them being the opposite of mine, that goes without saying), but your comments are just basic racist and hateful ones – not sure why anyone would want to spend so much time of his life doing that??? Apart from being racist and hateful, it is becoming VERY boring. And you should be careful when criticising Thai scientists when in your country live and act some of the most corrupted ones in the world, some even “advising” your government from the start of this “pandemic” – great results, hey?? The UK got one of the worse death rate in the world!! And some of these scientists have approved and recommanded to treat British patients with Remdesivir when non-corrupted / independant scientists all over the world kept saying that it was: 1- not working. 2- is toxic. But it was EXTREMELY expensive. Yes “mate”, some of your scientists are even more corrupted than the Thais you keep insulting comment after comment. Got plenty more examples like that if you wish…

    One question Toby A: in Cambodia, do you wear the typical colonial hat on your empty head, a wooden stick in your hand, in a mansion surrounded by 15 maids serving like slaves your constant abject tantrums?? I cannot help to picture you that way…

  4. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    “This is not a Thai vaccine. This is an American vaccine that Thais are assisting in developing.”

    Are you sure, Toby?

    According to the US websites it’s a dated vaccine from 70 years ago produced in Thailand to prevent avian flu that the “Thais” think may also somehow prevent Corona virus.

  5. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    “@ Isaan J: Why “Premature”?”

    Bizarre question.

    It’s “premature” by definition.

    It’s not yet known whether the vaccine, which is for avian flu, has any effect on the Corona virus, so it doesn’t matter if production could be up and running next week, next month, next year, next decade, or next century –

    – it’s “premature” because there’s no reason to “expect” production to begin next year when nobody knows if the vaccine works and no-one involved has any history of vaccine production.

    It’s “premature” by basic definition – maybe you just have no idea what the word means.

    You don’t seem to understand what “questioning” means either, since I’m not “questioning” anything here, and, comparatively, I seldom do.

    Weird.

  6. Avatar

    Manu

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    Like molecules decades old in order to treat patients, that according to many trials of all sorts all over the world and seem to make a difference by treating sick people, why not exploring that way? Apart from not being profitable for big pharma and the oligarchs, it could, why not, be good for humanity. Sick people need to be treated!

  7. Avatar

    Manu

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    Well you were saying the same some time ago… it was normal then from Pfizer etc… now it is premature for this one… you were confident it was good so not premature. Now I was not insulting your intelligence, don’t do that to me now with the questioning. You are questioning the ability of that vaccine to happen as described in the article, not even sure who you are trying to fool here. Saying the second paragraph is questioning, not sure how you thing it is not, I thought for a minute there could be some intelligent communication here, forgot for a minute that it cannot be, sufficient nonsense that you are. Have a good night.

  8. Avatar

    James R

    Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 1:09 am

    As I have said before I do not believe the number of deaths reported in Thailand, as it does not follow logic.

    Thais can party, go to clubs, bars, restaurants, visit in large groups at shopping centres, when this is allowed in the West an exponential growth in the number of death occurs, but for some strange reason the Thai population seems to be mostly immune to the virus.

    The reported claimed ‘success’ in Thailand is based on the early lockdown at airports but most growth in the spread of the virus is from the domestic population.

    That leads me not to believe anything related to the virus in Thailand especially the ability for Thailand to develops its own vaccine.

    Yes the reply will be there were many deaths in the UK, but we were honest and straightforward with our reporting as we actually have means of testing people and an open media.

    Now with around 600,000 vaccination per day we almost have the virus under control.

    Just stick your heads in the sand and it will eventually go away it seems is the Thai policy.

    But it is still a great place for long holidays or it will be in a year or two’s time once the virus has been defeated.

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

UPDATE: Field hospitals being established in Covid hot zones around Thailand

Tim Newton

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UPDATE: Field hospitals being established in Covid hot zones around Thailand | Thaiger

UPDATE: The field hospital in Bangkok’s Bang Bon district, west of the Chao Phraya river, had its first 10 Covid patients today. The director of the medical services office of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration says that the 10 patients into the makeshift hospital, located at the Chalerm Phra Kiat Stadium, will enable assessment of the performance by the medical team, before more patients arrive – Thai PBS World

ORIGINAL STORY: Despite the confident posture and Songkran going ahead, amid restrictions, there is a lot of background activity which suggest the authorities are getting ready for a surge of new infections at the end of the Songkran break, officially this Thursday (but in reality, next Sunday at the end of the weekend when most people who travelled home will return for a resumption of work).

The Thai lunar new year celebrations – Songkran – are the largest mass movement of Thais each year, a source for a huge leap in road deaths and accidents. And, this year, a potential super-spreader event.

Quietly, at least 3,000 extra beds have been prepared in 10 field hospitals around Bangkok. The government has also confirmed that additional field hospitals are being set up in other potential ‘hot zones’, including Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chonburi and Hua Hin. Some of them were set up last year, and since closed, and now being prepared for new positive infections.

One Thai person who had been in one of the field hospitals put together a check-list of things to take IF you end up as an invited ‘guest’ HERE.

The CCSA say they are looking for additional beds in hotels and previous state quarantine facilities (where repatriating Thais were housed for their free quarantine) to be used if needed.

This year’s Songkran had bad timing, coming just a week after a number of major clusters were identified around some of Bangkok’s popular nightlife areas in 3 key inner city districts. Even before Songkran these isolated clusters had already spread into the provinces. In the weekend before Songkran the government had already listed 37 provinces which had instigated some form of paperwork or restrictions for people who had been in any of the 3 Bangkok districts.

The government also leapt on the source of the new outbreaks – bars, clubs and entertainment venues – and promptly shut them down for at least 2 weeks. At this stage it looks likely that that ban will be extended beyond the 2 weeks and, depending on the extent of new infections following the Songkran holiday, additional restrictions will also be added.

Even today the Civil Aviation Authority published a number of new in-flight restrictions for passengers – another blow to the hard-hit domestic aviation sector.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: Daily infection number drops slightly on Tuesday

Tim Newton

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Covid UPDATE: Daily infection number drops slightly on Tuesday | Thaiger

965 people have been detected as infected with Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. The daily total is the first drop in daily numbers for 13 days. 28,288 people have fully recovered. The total deaths remains at 97 people since the start of the pandemic in Thailand. 6,190 people remain under hospital care or are being monitored.

654 of today’s cases are local community infections.

Out of today’s infections, the CCSA announced that most were in the northern city of Chiang Mai (251) which has been hit particularly hard, followed by Bangkok (194), Chonburi (97), Prachuap Khiri Khan (73), Nakhon Ratchasima (67), Samut Prakan (49), Samut Sakhon (34), Rayong (25) and Pathum Thani (21). 8 new infections were officially reported in Phuket by the CCSA.

Regarding vaccinations, 578,532 people have now been vaccinated. Yesterday, 6,424 people received their first injection, 2,056 received their second Covid vaccine.

There’s now a total of 34,575 people who have now been infected with the coronavirus in Thailand.

Covid UPDATE: Daily infection number drops slightly on Tuesday | News by Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

WHO says pandemic reaching critical levels in South Asia

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WHO says pandemic reaching critical levels in South Asia | Thaiger
Stock photo via World Bank Blogs

Despite vaccines being rolled out, the WHO is warning that the Covid-19 pandemic has reached a “critical level” in South Asia as infections keep rising. The virus has already taken 2.9 million lives, infecting 136 million worldwide and the WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, says the “trajectory of this pandemic is growing…exponentially.”

“This is not the situation we want to be in 16 months into a pandemic when we have proven control measures. We are at a critical point of the pandemic right now.”

The US is still the country with the most amount of infections, but India has recently taken the number 2 spot over Brazil, reporting 168,000 new cases in 1 day. India’s total amount of infections is now at 13.5 million, edging Brazil’s 13.48 million into the number 3 spot.

But a race among nations for Covid infections is not what the WHO – or anyone for that matter – is wanting. 28 year old Rohit, a waiter in Mumbai, seems to say that the race won’t end if people continue to not listen to safety protocols.

“The solution is for everyone to stay home for two months and end this (pandemic) once and for all. But the public doesn’t listen. Nobody follows the rules in the restaurant… If we tell customers to wear masks, they are rude and disrespectful to us.”

Ignoring the social – distancing rules has experts up in arms as they warn that huge, mass gatherings are what we all thought they were: a super spreader event for Covid-19.

But the Indian government appears desperate to avoid a repeat of last year’s nationwide March shutdown which saw some of the world’s toughest measures causing misery all around. Thus, the balance between managing a country’s overall health and financial situation is a tedious one.

Bangladesh has chosen health, for now, as it is shuttering both international and domestic airports from tomorrow. Its population of 160 million people, will be sealed off from the rest of the world.

And, in Thailand, a 3rd wave has hit, making plans for a full reopening by October, seem to be in vain. Social distancing and mass gatherings are, again, to blame, as entertainment venues sparked the recent spread. As normally tourism-heavy destinations, like the Andaman island of Phuket, are rapidly inoculating its residents to prepare for a July reopening, the new wave has dampened hopes of reviving the economy.

For now, the efforts to contain the Covid pandemic have been futile worldwide, but history has a habit of repeating itself, especially when safety protocols fall on deaf ears.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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