Thailand to start clinical trials on homemade Covid-19 vaccine; cases still high in Samut Sakhon on Saturday (Feb 20)

BANGKOK, Feb 20 (The Nation Thailand/ANN): The mRNA vaccine against the coronavirus developed by Chulalongkorn University of Thailand, is scheduled to enter the first stage of human trials soon, according to a university official.

Kiat Ruxrungtham, who is in charge of the University's vaccine development project, confirmed the mRNA vaccine ChulaCov19 will be put on trial with humans in late April or early May, following satisfactory results of earlier trials with rats and macaques.

If the human trials with the mRNA vaccine are successful, Thai company Bionet Asia will manufacture a range of one to five million doses of the vaccine by the end of this year, Kiat said.

The university is still working on an updated version of the vaccine to fight against new coronavirus variants, he added.

Meanwhile, The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration on Saturday reported 82 new cases.

Thirty-five were found in Samut Sakhon province – 19 in hospitals and 16 from proactive search.

Twelve overseas travellers tested positive, nine of them foreigners. Two Thais had returned from the UAE and one from Bahrain. Two Americans, two Russians and a German, an Indian, a Nigerian and a French national had arrived from their home countries and a Ugandan had arrived from Kenya.

Meanwhile, 59 patients have recovered and been discharged.

As of Saturday, the number of confirmed cases in Thailand had risen to 25,323. Of these, 22,633 had been contracted locally, including 14,355 who were found via proactive testing, while 2,690 were returnees. So far, 24,129 have recovered and been discharged, 1,111 patients are still in hospital, while 83 people have died.

According to Worldometer, as of 10am on Saturday, the number of confirmed cases globally had risen to 111.23 million (up by 403,036), 86.14 million have recovered, 22.63 million are active cases (94,899 in severe condition) and 2.46 million have died (up by 10,971).

Thailand ranks 114th on the global list of most cases, which is topped by the US with 28.6 million, followed by India 10.97 million, Brazil 10.08 million, Russia 4.13 million and the United Kingdom 4.09 million. - The Nation Thailand/ANN

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