NVI plans to utilise local booster shots

NVI plans to utilise local booster shots

A woman is vaccinated against Covid-19 in Bangkok. (File photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
A woman is vaccinated against Covid-19 in Bangkok. (File photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The National Vaccine Institute (NVI) plans to use locally developed Covid-19 vaccines as booster shots when they are completed and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

NVI director Nakhon Premsri on Friday acknowledged progress in local agencies' Covid-19 vaccine research and development.

He said the vaccines are HXP–GPOVac, developed by the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO); Chula-Cov19 of Chulalongkorn University; and Baiya Sars-CoV-2 Vax of Baiya Phytopharm Company. All of the vaccines are in clinical trials, he said.

Among the three, HXP–GPOVac has made the most progress, he said.

The vaccine is now in the second phase of a clinical trial, which is participated by 250 volunteers aged 18-75 years old, who have never received a Covid-19 vaccine nor been infected by the disease, he said.

The GPO expects to have a result soon as it plans to have the vaccine enter stage three of the trial next month.

In the meantime, Chulalongkorn University is now recruiting volunteers for the first trial of their mRNA vaccine, Dr Nakhon said.

The university changed its vaccine producer from a company in the United States to Bangkok-based Bionet-Asia, so it needs to redo the first phase of its trial, he said.

The volunteers must never have received any Covid-19 vaccine and be aged between 18 and 60 years old, he said. The university plans to start the clinical trial from January to February.

For the Baiya Sars-CoV-2 Vax, the second-generation version is found to have better results than the first, Dr Nakhon said. The vaccine is now in the first phase of a clinical trial.

Dr Nakorn said local vaccine development is important because it can help reduce procurement costs of the Covid-19 vaccines in the future.

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