19 May 2024

The first anti-COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be available for use in humans next year, at an estimated cost of 620 baht per dose, said Dr. Siriroek Songsivilai, secretary-general of the National Vaccines Committee of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovations, today (Saturday).

He said that the estimated price is based on the 100 million doses, worth about two billion US dollars, ordered by the US government from the US’s Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech SE, which jointly developed the vaccines.

He disclosed that there was good news last week, about the satisfactory results of vaccine trials on humans in the first and second stages, especially about the candidate vaccines developed by Oxford University, in cooperation with AstraZeneca PLC, based in Cambridge, UK, and the Chinese vaccines.

Unity in the volunteers with few serious side effects, adding that the vaccines developed by US-based Moderna Inc. are also showing promise, adding that, before widespread use in humans, the candidates must pass third stage trials, which will involve a large number of volunteers, followed by a study of their short and long term efficacies.

Currently, there are 30 candidate vaccines being trialed in humans and scientists are optimistic that they will have workable vaccines in the near future.

Dr. Siriroek said that Thailand is using three approaches, namely developing its own vaccine, developing vaccines through transfer of technology and the purchase of vaccines from abroad.