Govt delays human testing for coronavirus vaccine

Govt delays human testing for coronavirus vaccine

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask stands next to a board showing the progress of developing an mRNA type vaccine candidate for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) during a news conference at the National Primate Research Center of Chulalongkorn University in Saraburi province, June 22, 2020. (Reuters file photo)
FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask stands next to a board showing the progress of developing an mRNA type vaccine candidate for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) during a news conference at the National Primate Research Center of Chulalongkorn University in Saraburi province, June 22, 2020. (Reuters file photo)

Thailand will delay human trials of its coronavirus vaccine due to limited production capacity at overseas facilities, a senior official said on Wednesday, but it hopes to resume trials by the end of the year.

Health authorities had planned human testing of the vaccine by October, but must delay that by several months as factories abroad are at full capacity, said Kiat Ruxrungtham, director of the Chulalongkorn University vaccine development programme.

The delay will be a setback for the kingdom's push to quickly create its own vaccine and comes as developers worldwide race to complete trials and secure regulatory approval.

A race is on among countries to guarantee a supply amid concern about competition for access, with Britain and the United States in the lead in securing six vaccine deals with drugmakers each.

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a budget of 1 billion baht for vaccines, 60% of which would be invested in Oxford University's vaccine programme and the remainder in its domestic programme.

Thailand has reported 3,403 confirm cases of the coronavirus and 58 deaths. There has been no confirmed local transmission for more than three months.


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