BANGKOK, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) — Thailand on Thursday announced the breakthrough in the HIV vaccine development — the first time ever that there is evidence that HIV vaccine has preventive efficacy.
“It is found that the vaccine has 31.2 per cent efficacy in reducing the risk of HIV infection,” Thai Public Health Minister Withaya Kaewparadai told a press conference in capital Bangkok.
Withaya presided over the official announcement of the outcome of the HIV Vaccine Phase III Trial.
The Public Health Ministry conducted the study, which used strains of HIV common in Thailand. The sponsor of the trial is the U.S.Army Surgeon General, with funding support from the National Institute of Health and U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, while Sanofi-Pasteur and GSID provide candidate vaccines for the trial.
With field research works implemented by Thais and deemed the world’s largest HIV vaccine study, with the trial of 16,402 Thai volunteers, has now been completed in central provinces of Chonburi and Rayong, Withaya said.
Withaya said although the efficacy rate is not high enough for use, this nonetheless constitutes significant knowledge that can be applied to improve HIV vaccine efficacy in the future.
“All these will form an important foundation for further HIV vaccine development in Thailand in the future,” said Doctor PaijitWarachit, Deputy Health Permanent Secretary.
Meanwhile, Doctor Mom Luang Somchai Chakra hand, Director-General, Department of Disease Control, said that “HIV vaccine development must be accompanied by the intensive application of other preventive measures.”
The Department of Disease Control is committed to HIV vaccine development in collaboration with networks of researchers in Thailand and internationally aiming to an appropriate HIV vaccine accessible for people, Doctor. Mom Luang Somchai said.
The Phase III Trial of HIV vaccine demonstrates collective efforts and a common understanding that HIV prevention is everybody’s concern, and which requires the participation of all sections at national and international levels in search of additional preventive measure.
“The success is the pride of Thailand. We thank the volunteers, communities in Chonburi and Rayong province, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and researchers for their contribution to the HIV vaccine development,” he said.