11 July 2024

The Faculty of Medicine of Chulalongkorn University is expected to begin the first phase of candidate COVID-19 vaccine trials in humans next April, said Professor Dr. Kiat Raxrungtham, director of the COVID-19 vaccine development project of the Vaccine Development Research Centre, today.

The BioNet-Asia Company, a partner in the vaccine trials, has procured raw materials needed for vaccine development, but it is concerned that there may not be a sufficient supply of such materials because some large corporations have already secured most of them.

Dr. Kiat also said that the 300-million baht budget for vaccine development, allocated in 42 million baht installments by the government, may not be enough, adding that at least one billion baht will be needed. He revealed that public donations may have to be solicited for the vaccine trials because, although the project is being supported by the National Vaccine Institute of Thailand, the funding might not be received in time.

If the first phase of vaccine trials is a success, he said that the second phase will be carried out in June, to be followed by an assessment of the efficacy and safety of the candidate vaccine, but that there will not be the third phase, since the manufacturing technology has been developed and proved abroad.

Due to the different genetic makeup of Thais, when compared to non-Thais, however, Dr. Kiat said that the dosage of vaccine to be used for Thais during the trial phase will be different to that used for non-Thais.

Should the vaccine candidate pass phase 1 and 2 trials, and the efficacy and safety assessments, Dr. Kiat indicated that large scale production could begin in late 2021.