Medical expert calls for export of AstraZeneca doses to be suspended

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A prominent medical expert has urged the government to stop exporting locally-produced doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine until Thailand has enough for its own people. Dr Prasert Auewarakul from Siriraj Hospital’s Faculty of Medicine says Thailand needs at least 10 million doses a month over the next 3 months. According to a Bangkok Post report, he says this period is a crucial point in the vaccine rollout, potentially enabling a reduction in infections and Covid-related deaths.

Prasert is urging people to add their names to a petition hosted on the Change.org website, which calls for a law on national vaccine security to be invoked, allowing the government to halt or limit the export of locally-produced AstraZeneca vaccines. He says that despite a temporary increase in vaccine supplies, due to donations from other countries and an increase in orders, Thailand could still face a shortage in the coming months.

According to Prasert, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has the power to invoke the national vaccine security law, thereby limiting the number of doses exported from local manufacturer Siam Bioscience or placing a temporary halt on exports.

“We would then be better equipped to contain the pandemic and push down fatalities.”

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While the doctor recognises that a suspension of exports would affect countries who’ve placed orders with Thailand, he points out that the impact would be limited as they are not relying on AstraZeneca as their primary vaccine – unlike Thailand.

According to Prasert, Siam Bioscience can produce 10 million doses a month of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Suspending exports would mean Thailand has between 20 and 30 million doses available to inoculate its citizens over the coming 3 months.

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SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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