Forbes News:This Thai Researcher Aims To Make His Country A Covid-19 Vaccine Powerhouse

Kiat Ruxrungtham isn’t content to see Thailand wait in line to buy vaccines from another country. He’s on a mission to build up Thailand’s own vaccine production capabilities, to supply not only his country but 6 nearby nations with immunizations against Covid-19. His long-term goal is even more ambitious: to lay the groundwork for rapid vaccine development against the next pandemic, whenever it may strike.

“When you face another pandemic, instead of sitting and waiting to buy it, you have to stand up and make your own vaccine,” said Ruxrungtham, who is head researcher at Chulalongkorn University’s Center of Excellence in Vaccine Research and Development, in Bangkok. He pointed to the lesson of the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, when wealthy countries produced a vaccine relatively quickly using well-established technology.

“China, the US, Europe, Japan - every country got a vaccine within a few months,” he pointed out, in a recent Asia Society Hong Kong conversation.  “Thailand got it when the pandemic was already almost gone.”