Thailand upbeat on domestic COVID-19 vaccine possibility

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Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

AYUTTHAYA – Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul hoped Thailand could produce its vaccine to prevent the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and promised to accelerate the process.

Mr Anutin expressed the hope during his visit to a vaccine plant of BioNet-Asia Co that was testing its DNA COVID-19 vaccine with mice.



He said the Department of Medical Sciences would know next week if the candidate vaccine could stimulate antibody in mice. If the trial is successful, Mr Anutin said, he would ask the department and the Food and Drug Administration to skip trials in monkeys and start human tests right away.

“If this is successful, the Thai health system will be considered as making comprehensive achievements ranging from the internationally praised disease control to the production of medicine for treatment and the prevention with vaccine. If we can make it, Thailand will attract other countries,” MrAnutin said.

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He added that the government was considering financial support for local COVID-19 vaccine development.

BioNet-Asia managing director Vitoon Vonghangool said the trials with mice were satisfactory and the company planned to start human trials early next year.

He added that the company was ready to further develop an m-RNA vaccine initiated by the Center of Excellence in Vaccine Research and Development of Chulalongkorn University.  (TNA)