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Covid-19: Thailand’s locally-developed vaccine starts human trials

Bangkok -Thailand’s locally-developed COVID-19 vaccine started its first phase of human trials today, using inactivated virus to trigger immunity.

The vaccine candidate is jointly developed by state pharmaceutical product maker the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO), Mahidol University’s Tropical Medicine Department, and a US-based nonprofit global health organisation – Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH).

The Nation news website quoted GPO as saying the first phase of human trials will cover 210 volunteers aged between 18 and 59, who will be given the smallest dose of the vaccine.

The second phase, which is expected to start in July, will cover 250 volunteers aged between 18 and 75.

The GPO expects to conclude the study before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the vaccine is expected to be used by 2022.

He said the vaccine offers Thailand another option of COVID-19 vaccine in the country.

Another Thai-developed vaccine, ‘ChulaCov19’ by Chulalongkorn University, is due to be tested on human subjects in late April or early May.

Thailand plans to start mass vaccination with 61 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine produced by local firm Siam Bioscience Co Ltd in June.

Meanwhile, Thailand recorded 73 new COVID-19 cases and one death over the last 24 hours, bringing the tally in the kingdom to 27,876 cases and 91 fatalities to date. – Bernama

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