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Coronavirus

Scientists in Thailand Plan to Test Vaccine on Monkeys

BANGKOK — Thai health officials say scientists in Thailand have had promising results in testing a COVID-19 vaccine candidate on mice, and will begin testing it on monkeys next week.

Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman for Thailand’s Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration, said Wednesday that Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has ordered the development effort be sped up in the hope of the country becoming one of the first with adequate amounts of a vaccine for its people.

The vaccine candidate being tested by Bangkok’s Chualongkorn University and two public sector partners harnesses mRNA, or messenger RNA, technology, which unlike older types of vaccine does not contain any of the virus it seeks to attack. It instead utilizes part of the virus’ genetic code to ultimately produce antibodies inside the human body.

Thailand has several active COVID-19 vaccine development projects, including separate cooperative efforts with China and the United States.

Scores of vaccine development projects are underway around the world, with several already having reached the stage where trials are carried out on human subjects.

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