Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, and the Ambassador of the United States of America (USA) to the Kingdom of Thailand, Michael George DeSombre, have agreed to strengthen cooperation between the two nations in COVID-19 vaccine development in Thailand. The Public Health Minister says the Thai government is ready to support vaccine development by any institution, so that Thai people will have access to a vaccine, once one is developed.
Mr. Anutin, together with Mr. DeSombre, observed vaccine research and development at the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS), and followed up on progress of the HIV and COVID-19 vaccine development programs, jointly conducted by Thailand and the USA.
Mr. Anutin said the visit underlined the cooperation between the two countries in developing vaccines against dengue fever, malaria, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as well as COVID-19. The two nations also agreed to build a laboratory animal center to test experimental vaccines. If the AFRIMS need assistance or support, the Ministry of Public Health has allocated funds for COVID-19 vaccine research. The ministry is ready to provide support for the benefit of mankind.
Mr. Anutin said the Ministry of Public Health doesn’t focus on any particular institution with regards to vaccine development. The ministry has signed agreements with many institutions in this country and abroad. COVID-19 vaccine development is still underway. Concerning reports that one institution had to halt its vaccine development project, he said the institution has now resumed the project. Obstacles are considered normal in vaccine development, and the Thai government is ready to support any type of vaccine development.
If a COVID-19 vaccine is discovered in a program operating with the Thai government’s support, it will be provided to the Thai people first. (NNT)