A Step Closer to the Vaccine? Thailand Begins Trials on Monkeys

They’ve seen positive results in tests conducted on mice

One step forward in the race for the vaccine against COVID-19. 

Thailand has begun testing a coronavirus vaccine on monkeys, announced a health official on Saturday.

The trials are being conducted after they got favorable results from tests on mice, said Suvit Maesincee, Thailand’s minister of higher education, science, and research and innovation.

Nakorn Premsri, director of Thailand’s National Vaccine Institute, said if the results of the tests on monkeys are positive, they may start testing on humans by later this year or early 2021.

The Thai vaccine uses “messenger RNA, which prompts body cells to produce antigens, molecules on the surface of viruses, that spur the immune system into action,” according to a Reuters report.

Two factories are being eyed in the production of the vaccine, with one possibly beginning production in October for human clinical trials, said Kiet Rakrungtham, COVID-19 vaccine development director of Chulalongkorn University.

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As of May 24, Thailand has no new cases of COVID-19. The country’s total stands at 3,040 cases, with 2,921 recoveries, according to Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) assistant spokeswoman Dr Panprapa Yongtrakul.

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