BANGKOK – In the latest update to the vaccination timeframe, the Minister of Public Health said on Thursday the first doses of vaccine will arrive later this month, and will be given to members of the public in early March at the earliest, while a vaccine candidate developed by Thai researchers is expected to start human trials around the same time.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul, on Thursday disclosed that the Ministry of Public Health has secured 63 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for Thai people from various manufacturers, with the first batch to arrive, being from China’s Sinovac in late-February.
The Thai government has purchased two million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Sinovac, with 200,000 doses to arrive in the first batch later this month, to be followed by 800,000 doses in March, and 1 million doses in April.
This vaccine can be administered to the general public in early March following the first shipment, due to the registration process with the Food and Drugs Administration.
Mr Anutin said the locally manufactured AstraZeneca vaccine will start to be available in late May or early June. The government has made a deal to purchase 26 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine for Thai people.
Thai scientists are also developing their own COVID-19 vaccines in different projects, one of which is a COVID-19 vaccine produced using inactivated virus propagated in chicken eggs, the same technology as used to produce many types of influenza vaccines.
This vaccine candidate now being developed by the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) and the Faculty of Medicine, Mahidol University, has seen good results in animal trials. The team is expected to start Phase 1 of human trials with 210 volunteers in March, followed by Phase 2 in April and May using the same subjects, then Phase 3 in late-2021 in foreign countries.
When proven to be effective and safe, the researchers will file for approval with the Food and Drugs Administration, while the mass production of this vaccine will take place at a GPO’s facility in Saraburi, with a throughput of 25-30 million doses per year. (NNT)