Half the population in Thailand will be injected with the Covid-19 vaccine once it’s released and available to the public, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says. Oxford University and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca are conducting trails of the new vaccine. Thailand is planned to be the Southeast Asia production site for the new vaccine.
The health minister says the vaccine will be first used on Thai nationals who are in their mid-60s and then the ministry will work to make sure at least 50% of the population is injected with the vaccine.
The Public Health Ministry is also going through the World Health Organisation’s COVAX facility to make sure there is a sufficient supply of a vaccine. The ministry’s deputy permanent secretary Supakit Sirilak says about 65 million doses will be needed for Thailand, adding that 40% will be reserved with COVAX, 40% will go to AstraZeneca and 20% will go to other sources.
Siam Bioscience will be producing the vaccine in Thailand. Director of the National Vaccine Institute Nakorn Premsri says they have the potential to produce up to 200 million doses. Production is expected to start in mid-2021.
“Once the technology transfer agreement is signed, the Thai side will have to be trained on production processes. AstraZeneca’s vaccine is expected to pass Phase 3 testing and production should start in December. After that it needs to register with the FDA in the UK and Thailand, before we can start producing the vaccine mid next year.”
SOURCE: Nation Thailand