23 May 2024

Thailand’s National Vaccines Institute, in cooperation with the Medical Science and Science faculties of Mahidol University and the Faculty of Pharmacy of Chulalongkorn University, is now testing a candidate COVID-19 vaccine in animals, following completion of initial laboratory based tests.

Dr. Nakorn Premsri, director of the institute, said today that, if the tests on animals show convincing results by stimulating the creation of antibodies, it will be tested on human beings in three phases.

The first phase will be on 30-50 test subjects to verify the candidate vaccine’s safety. That will be followed by a second phase of tests on 100-150 subjects, to find out whether the candidate vaccine will stimulate the production of the required antibodies.

The third phase, which will be tested on over 500 subjects, is to determine the efficacy of the candidate vaccine, said Dr. Nakorn.

He disclosed that China, the United States and Britain have already tested their candidate vaccines on human beings in the first and second phases.
To have early access to a vaccine, he said that the other approach, besides developing Thailand’s own vaccine, is to seek technology transfer from other advanced countries.

The doctor went on to say that Thailand cannot afford to wait until 60% of the Thai population, or 35 million people, have developed immunity naturally, or herd immunity, which would take time at a huge cost.

Meanwhile, Dr. Sathaporn Phumi-amorn, of the Medical Science Department, said that two tests had been conducted on animals, in a laboratory of Chulalongkorn University, and an assessment is underway to determine the level of antibody production.