Clinical trials begin on Thai-made COVID-19 vaccine
Thailand began testing one of its locally developed COVID-19 vaccines on human last week, the first step in a process that hopefully will see the formulation approved for use among the general population next year.
The U.S. private sector is helping with the development of this Thai vaccine. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York is supporting researchers at Thailand’s Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) and Mahidol University’s Tropical Medicine Department.
Together, they created a pilot NDV-HXP-S vaccine, and the partners said that lab tests have been showing promising results.
Other researchers in Thailand are also working on different versions of a COVID-19 vaccine. Thai vaccines could play an essential role in safeguarding people in neighboring countries and developing countries in other regions that could still be waiting to be inoculated because demand outstrips vaccine supplies.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said local development of vaccines is a very significant step for the country. It would help make Thailand more self-reliant and resilient.
“Production is expected to begin next year, with an estimated 25-30 million doses annually,” Anutin said. “If we are successful, we can be self-reliant and determine our own direction.”
Thailand’s policymakers have prioritized and supported the medical sciences and biotechnology sectors as part of the national strategy to propel the Kingdom to a higher level of development.
The United Nations and other global organizations have praised Thailand for decades for having one of the strongest public health systems among the world’s developing countries, providing a model for others.