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Coronavirus Vaccines

Cabinet approves 9.3 billion baht for procurement of Pfizer doses



PHOTO: Flickr/Marco Verch

A government spokesman says funding of 9.3 billion baht has been approved for 20 million doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine. Anucha Burapachaisri confirmed the cabinet has approved the funds for the already signed order, while acknowledging a proposal to purchase a further 10 million Pfizer doses. According to a Bangkok Post report, Anucha says the Department of Disease Control plans to procure a total of 100 million doses of various vaccines by the end of this year.

“Altogether, Thailand now expects to have about 30 million doses of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine by the fourth quarter of this year.”

The government has also signed an agreement with Bhutan, which will see the Himalayan kingdom donate between 130,000 and 150,000 doses of AstraZeneca to Thailand. Anucha says the German government has also offered to donate 1,000 – 2,000 monoclonal antibody sets, used in the treatment of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, following the government’s U-turn on joining Covax, the cabinet has also approved a proposal to procure around 26 million vaccine doses through the facility next year. The Covax initiative, created by the World Health Organisation with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, aims to ensure equity in global vaccine distribution. Thailand famously declined to join when given the chance to do so in 2020, with the government saying it would prefer to deal with vaccine manufacturers directly.

The Bangkok Post reports that the government now expects to procure a total of 120 million doses of various Covid-19 vaccines next year, including mRNA, viral vector, inactivated, protein sub-unit, and DNA vaccines. The cabinet has also agreed to review how 1.5 million Pfizer doses are administered, to allow for more flexibility in administering the doses to foreign residents in Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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