Thailand plans to test potential human coronavirus vaccine in November


BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai researchers plan to start human trials of a potential new coronavirus vaccine in November and are preparing 10,000 doses, senior official said on Sunday that the vaccine could be ready for use by the end of next year.

FILE PHOTO: A woman is holding a small bottle labeled with a “COVID-19 Vaccine” sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken on April 10, 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration /

After favorable results in the primate trials, the next step is to manufacture doses for the human trials, said Kiat Ruxrungtham, director of the vaccine development program at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

“At first we were going to send them in June, but it was not easy to plan everything,” Kiat said at a press conference.

There are no vaccines approved for the virus that causes COVID-19, but 19 candidates are being followed in humans worldwide. China leads the race with an experimental vaccine from Sinovac Biotech Ltd (SVA.O)

The first Thai factory is scheduled to finish production in October and will ship the products to a second factory, which is scheduled to finish in November, he said. Initially, the earliest goal was September, but Kiat said there wouldn’t be enough vaccines by then.

The San Diego and Vancouver facilities will produce 10,000 test doses for 5,000 people. The first group, aged 18 to 60, will receive different doses of the vaccine, he said.

The trials will not accept volunteers “until we receive approval from the Thai Food and Drug Administration and an ethics committee,” said Kiat.

Thai company BioNet-Asia is preparing its facilities for large-scale manufacturing if the trials prove successful, he said.

“If all goes according to plan, the vaccine will be ready for Thailand in the third or fourth quarter of next year,” said Kiat.

On Sunday, Thailand registered a total of 3,217 confirmed infections, with no local transmission reported for more than a month, and 58 deaths from COVID-19.

Rapport de Chayut Setboonsarng; Montage par William Mallard

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