Thailand seeks local production rights to Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine

Thailand’s own vaccine research programme is expected to start human trials in September. (AP pic)

BANGKOK: Thailand is looking to secure access to a Covid-19 vaccine candidate being developed by University of Oxford through an agreement which would give the nation the technology rights for local production.

“We’re in the process of finalising our letter of intent to cooperate with the Oxford vaccine research team,” Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Friday. “Once that process is done, I’ll sign it right away.”

Vaccine technology transfer is one of the three pathways for Thailand to get access to the inoculations, according to the Health Ministry.

The country’s own vaccine research programme is expected to start human trials in September, and it’s also planning to purchase vaccines in advance next month through the Covax programme, established by a group comprising Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and World Health Organization.

Thailand has so far detected 3,390 cases of coronavirus and recorded 58 fatalities.

It hasn’t reported any cases from local transmission for nearly three months, but officials remain wary of the reemergence of virus, similar to what happened in Vietnam and New Zealand.