Made it! A million Moderna doses donated by the US arrive in Thailand
A million doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, donated by the United States, have arrived in Thailand. The Bangkok Post reports that the US donation touched down yesterday afternoon. Michael Heath from the US Embassy in Bangkok says this is the second US donation of mRNA vaccines following a donation of 1.5 million Pfizer doses in July.
“This new shipment reaffirms our support to Thailand as we stand shoulder-to-shoulder to overcome this global pandemic. While the first tranche of vaccines helped Thailand contain the Covid-19 outbreak, this second tranche will help Thailand reach its goal of vaccinating 70% of the population by January, paving the way for the country’s economic recovery.”
Several attempts to donate mRNA vaccines to Thailand have encountered hurdles in the past, most notably Poland’s recent attempt to donate 1.5 million Moderna doses to Thammasat University Hospital and an earlier attempt by the US to donate a million Pfizer doses.
In welcoming yesterday’s delivery of Moderna doses, Heath said the US has also provided Thailand with tens of millions of dollars in Covid-19 assistance, including helping to fund the development of Thailand’s own vaccines. The Bangkok Post reports that renowned US scientist, Dr Drew Weissman from the University of Pennsylvania, is helping Chulalongkorn University with the development of “ChulaCov19”, Asian’s first mRNA vaccine.
Meanwhile, Sophon Iamsirithavorn from the Disease Control Department says the donated Moderna vaccines will be distributed to areas with high infection rates and will also serve as booster doses. In particular, he wants to see people in border areas vaccinated, given the risk of imported cases. He says 65% of the population is now fully vaccinated and the goal is to reach 70% by the end of the year.
“It might be very difficult for us to do it by this month as we have only 10 days left, but we will try to push forward to cover that 5%, which amounts to 3.5 million people, as soon as possible. We are sure that we could achieve 70% by the end of this December.”
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SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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