Professor Suttipong Wacharasindhu, M.D., Director of King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital (KCMH), the Thai Red Cross Society (TRCS), and Dean of Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, presided over a press conference to announce the progress of the development of the ChulaCov19 vaccine against COVID-19 and preparedness for clinical trials in volunteers. On this occasion, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister, Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, Professor Kiat Ruxrungtham, M.D., Chief of the COVID-19 vaccine project, Chula Vaccine Research Center and Mr. Nakorn Premsri, Director of National Vaccine Institute (NVI), also participated in the event at Bhumisiri Mangalanusorn Building, KCMH, TRCS, on 8 February 2021.
Professor Suttipong mentioned that after the success of the ChulaCov19 vaccine testing in monkeys, the team is now preparing to enter the first stage of human trials and to ensure public trust in the safety of trial progress.
Professor Kiat explained that the ChulaCov19 vaccine is using modern mRNA technology, which has been authorized for emergency use in several countries. The clinical tests had shown that 1) ChulaCov19 vaccine could prevent COVID-19 infection and it could reduce the huge amount of virus in rodents 2) It could also be kept at warmer temperature of 2C-8C for at least one month. The team is waiting for the results of the three-month storage experiment. Therefore, it will be easier to store and transport. 3) The clinical trials in volunteers will be started in the beginning of May 2021 and 4) The center is now preparing to start the development of the second version of ChulaCov19 vaccine with the aim to increase the protection against new COVID-19 variants.
Mr. Nakorn emphasized that the National Vaccine Institute always supports vaccine research in order to increase Thailand’s potential for COVID-19 vaccine production.