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Japan to donate 300,000 more AstraZeneca vaccines next week

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Japan is donating 300,000 more AstraZeneca vaccines.

The Japanese embassy in Bangkok made an announcement today that their government will again donate AstraZeneca vaccines to Thailand. Japan donated 1.05 million AstraZeneca vaccines to Thailand at the beginning of July and have declared that another shipment of 300,000 vaccines will be forthcoming.

The second shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines from Japan is slated to arrive on September 8, this coming Wednesday. The Japanese shipment will have 775 oxygen concentrators to aid in the care of patients with severe Covid-19 infections as well as equipment for the cold chain system that is essential to keep vaccines at a low temperature during storage, transportation, and distribution of vaccines.

In addition to helping Thailand, Japan has allocated some vaccines to other Southeast Asian countries. The government is donating a total of 440,000 vaccines to countries in the area, with 300,000 of those going to Thailand. Taiwan and Vietnam will split the remaining 140,000 vaccines to help with their Covid-19 outbreaks, though the exact number for each country was not specified.

The embassy made the announcement alongside a factsheet explaining that, long before these vaccines, Japan and Thailand have been working together over the past decade to assist each other during times of crisis including Thailand’s 2011 floods and the Great East Japan Earthquake. The Covid-19 aid is a continuation of these friendly relations.

The release someone confusingly refers to it as “Four pillars of Japan’s cooperation”, though the introductory text mentions 3 and the subsequent list includes 5. These are:

  1. 1.35 million AstraZeneca vaccines donated in total.
  2. 775 oxygen concentrators valued at US $1.8 million.
  3. Cooperation in developing drug treatments, testing capability, and virus surveillance with a US $5.5 million budget. This includes accelerating infections disease diagnosis through the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute, researching Covid-19 antibodies with the Faculty of Tropical Medicine at Mahidol University, and working with the National Institute for Health to improve quality control on vaccines, monitoring mutations, and analysing pathogens.
  4. Allocating US $12.25 million for UN agency cooperations. $750,000 will be a partnership with Japan and UNICEF for equipment to refrigerate vaccines. $11.5 million is for a renovation of the National Laboratory at the National Institute for Health, a scientific command centre for Covid-19 research and development.
  5. US $50 million to create the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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