Joining the global race to find safe treatment for the novel COVID-19 infection, Thailand said it expects to have a coronavirus vaccine next year. A senior official on Wednesday confirmed that the Thai mRNA (messenger RNA) vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been tested successfully on mice.

Thailand will begin testing the mRNA (messenger RNA) vaccine in monkeys next week after successful trials in mice, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, spokesman for the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

Earlier, Suvit Maesincee, minister of Higher Education Science Research and Innovation, had said in a press briefing regarding the development of a homegrown vaccine that Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered to fast-track the vaccine development so that Thai people will have enough vaccines for Covid-19 disease prevention.

More than 100 potential vaccines for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, are being developed, including several in clinical trials, but the World Health Organization in April had warned that a vaccine would take at least 12 months.

The Thai vaccine is being developed by the National Vaccine Institute, the Department of Medical Science and Chulalongkorn University’s vaccine research center.

Messenger RNA prompts body cells to produce so-called antigens – molecules on the surface of viruses – that spur the immune system into action.

Thailand was ranked fifth globally, just ahead of South Korea, for rapid response to and mitigation of the spread of an epidemic in the Johns Hopkins Global Health Security Index report in 2019.
.On Monday, American drugmaker Moderna said its experimental COVID-19 vaccine ‘mRNA-1273’ produced protective antibodies in a small group of healthy volunteers at levels similar to people who have recovered from the illness. Moderna’s vaccine is among the WHO’S top contenders for COVID-19 vaccines and was the first to be tested in the United States.
.Several pharmaceutical firms across the world, including Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer Inc, which is working with Germany’s BioNTech SE, are also in the race to develop vaccines for COVID-19, which has now claimed at least 318,517 lives globally.

Thailand has reported a total of 3,034 cases of the coronavirus and 56 deaths.