To help develop domestic Covid-19 vaccines, the Stock Exchange of Thailand has donated 40 million baht to the Thai medical teams working on the vaccines. 2 vaccines are currently being developed at Chulalongkorn University, in separate departments and different partnerships.
The president of the SET said that it is imperative that new and improved vaccines are developed and Thai people need to receive the most modern vaccines as possible. While the effects of Covid-19 has lessened in past weeks, the post-New Year’s surge of Omicron variant infections may prolong the pandemic.
Vaccines may become crucial again in the near future and having domestic vaccines will position Thailand well to respond to a crisis. Time and money will be saved if Thailand can produce its own vaccine and not be dependent on foreign imports which could encounter delays as were seen last year.
The SET is donating the 40 million baht for the greater good of Thai society, to promote Thai innovations, and to have tangible results from the work of labs in Thailand. Creating new vaccines and building the infrastructure to mass-produce those doses costs an enormous amount of money, so the donation from the SET provides much-needed financing in the vaccine development process.
The two vaccines currently in the works are the Baiya vaccines being developed by the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Chulalongkorn University, and the ChulaCov19 vaccine that is in development by the Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University with partnership provided by Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital and the Thai Red Cross Society.
Baiya has developed a genetically engineered tobacco extract to deliver protection from Covid-19. The vaccine is a protein subunit vaccine, where a harmless S protein of the virus is used and recognized by the human body which then develops antibodies. The S proteins in the subunit vaccine are transplanted onto tobacco leaves to cultivate and then is extracted to produce vaccines.
The ChulaCov19 vaccine, on the other hand, is an mRNA dose that uses genetically engineered messenger RNA to teach the human body to fight the virus.
SOURCE: Thailand Business News