Thai researchers say vaccine testing on monkeys off to good start

Photo: Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation / Facebook
Photo: Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation / Facebook

Pleased by the first round of animal testing, officials said human trials of a COVID-19 vaccine would begin in October.

Researchers at the National Vaccine Institute said they could start testing on people after monkeys who received an experimental vaccine recovered, according to Suvit Maesincee, Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation.

About one dozen monkeys received an mRNA-based vaccine, which unlike a traditional vaccine that stimulates an immune response, uses genetic material to reprogram cells to produce antigens. The emerging technology is being used to both treat COVID-19 and test potential vaccines worldwide.

The results at the Chulalongkorn University National Primate Research Center, according to Suvit, showed all monkeys healthy with increased amounts of antibodies and no side effects.

A second series of shots were injected into the monkeys on Monday and a third round will be conducted in July.

If the vaccines are ready for human trial in October, the first to get that honor may be Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who last week reportedly volunteered to be the first human guinea pig.

Their are several potential vaccines being developed by Thailand’s National Vaccine Institute in conjunction with the  Department of Medical Sciences and Chulalongkorn University’s Centre of Excellence in Vaccine Research and Development.


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