The Acting Chinese Ambassador to Thailand has confirmed that vaccine manufacturer Sinovac Biotech is ready to export its Covid-19 jab to Thailand. Yang Xin was on a courtesy call with Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha, when he confirmed the vaccine has been approved for export to the Kingdom. The exact date when Thailand can expect to receive the vaccine has not been confirmed, with Yang saying delivery will be “as soon as possible”.
The Thai government has come in for criticism from some corners for being slow to roll out a national vaccination programme. In neighbouring Indonesia, the national vaccine rollout began in January, while in Singapore, the first vaccinations were administered at the end of December.
Opposition politician Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has criticised the government for seemingly dragging its feet, saying its reliance on just 1 firm to produce the vaccine locally is slowing down the process. Siam Bioscience, which is wholly owned by the Crown Property Bureau, is the sole manufacturer for the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine in Thailand.
During his call with Yang, the PM confirmed Thailand’s commitment to a national vaccine rollout in which at least half the population will be vaccinated. The government has already ordered 2 million doses of the Chinese vaccine, along with 26 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and a further 35 million doses reserved.
Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri says the PM also used the call with Yang to pass on his best wishes for the Chinese New Year and congratulated China for its response to the pandemic. Both men reaffirmed their countries’ willingness to continue working together, with Yang saying relations between the 2 have strengthened further, despite the challenges posed by Covid-19.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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