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Thailand hopes to produce COVID-19 vaccine next year

The vaccine, developed by Thai researchers, is an MRNA vaccine designed to help the body create immunity against the new coronavirus could be available as early as next year.

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – Thai researchers have completed a trial of a potential COVID-19 vaccine with rats, to be followed by a trial in monkeys. The team coordinated with North American manufacturers to produce the first batch of the vaccine.

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The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, said yesterday regarding the development of a potential vaccine against COVID-19 in Thailand, that the vaccine had passed its trial in rats, with the next step being a trial in monkeys.

The vaccine, developed by Thai researchers, is an MRNA vaccine designed to help the body create immunity against the new coronavirus. It could be available as early as next year, provided that all tests are successful. The Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, has ordered the development to progress urgently.

Dr Taweesin said, “Chulalongkorn University’s Vaccine Research Center has joined forces with the National Vaccine Institute and the Department of Medical Sciences in this vaccine development, in which initial tests on lab rats have been successful. The vaccine will be tested on monkeys next week.

The Minister of Higher Education said the Prime Minister has ordered the project to move along urgently, ensuring that Thailand would be among the first countries to have a vaccine available.

“This is good news for Thai people, and deserving of praise for Thai scientists.”

CCSA spokesman said today that researchers have coordinated with manufacturers in the U.S. and Canada to produce the first batch of the vaccine, which will be used in clinical trials with human volunteers.

Thai researchers started COVID-19 vaccine monkey trials

After a promising outcome from trials in rats, an anti-virus vaccine prototype developed by Thai researchers is now being tested in monkeys, with the results expected by September.

Researchers from the National Research Council of Thailand, the National Vaccine Institute, and Chulalongkorn University today started the trial of the mRNA vaccine prototype for COVID-19 at Chulalongkorn University’s National Primate Research Center of Thailand in Saraburi.

In the trial, the vaccine will be given in various doses to 13 female cynomolgus monkeys aged 4-6 years, which are comparable to humans aged 12 years or older.

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AstraZeneca Approves Thailand’s Vaccine Factory

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – AstraZeneca has approved safety standards at Thailand’s vaccine factory and will send the first batch of raw materials for vaccine production in June.

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Skin-lightening products market to reach US$31 billion by 2024

In emerging Asian and African economies, the natural aspiration to enhance one’s circumstances has led to rapid growth in the market for skin-lightening products, which is projected to reach US$31 billion by 2024.

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Recent years have seen evolving awareness of systemic inequities including racism, sexism and pro-Western chauvinism.

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Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?

Oxford Business Group

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Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?
– Covid-19 led to a slowdown in BRI projects
– Chinese overseas investment dropped off in 2020
– Government remains committed to the wide-ranging infrastructure programme
– Sustainability, health and digital to be the new cornerstones of the initiative 

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Following a year of coronavirus-related disruptions, China appears to be placing a greater focus on sustainable, digital and health-related projects in its flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

As OBG outlined in April last year, the onset of Covid-19 prompted questions about the future direction of the BRI.

Launched in 2013, the BRI is an ambitious international initiative that aims to revive ancient Silk Road trade routes through large-scale infrastructure development.

By the start of 2020 some 2951 BRI-linked projects – valued at a total of $3.9trn – were planned or under way across the world.

However, as borders closed and lockdowns were imposed, progress stalled on a number of major BRI infrastructure developments.

In June China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that 30-40% of BRI projects had been affected by the virus, while a further 20% had been “seriously affected”. Restrictions on the flow of Chinese workers and construction supplies were cited as factors behind project suspensions or slowdowns in Pakistan, Cambodia and Indonesia, among other countries.

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