BANGKOK (NNT) – Chulalongkorn University started human trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, ChulaCov19, on Monday, with 72 volunteers receiving shots under the supervision of doctors, nurses and researchers. The tests on humans come after successful trials in monkeys and rats.
Professor Kiat Ruxrungtham said ChulaCov19 is an mRNA vaccine developed domestically, in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania’s Professor Drew Weissman, the world-renowned scientist who invented the technology. The vaccine is made from parts of the coronavirus’s genetic material, not the whole virus.
He explained that the body uses this tiny piece of genetic material to build a spike protein, which stimulates the immune system to fight the virus in case of infection. After triggering the body to make proteins, the mRNA vaccine is destroyed and passes out of the body in a few days.
The second phase of human trials will involve 150-300 volunteers, who will receive the jab around August, to measure their immune response.