The Department of Medical Sciences has approved samples of the AstraZeneca vaccine which have been produced locally by Siam Bioscience. Supakit Sirilak from the DMS says 5 models of vaccine were submitted for approval. The 5 had been tested for consistency during production. The AstraZeneca jab is one of only 3 so far to be approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration. A technology-transfer deal signed last year awarded sole production rights to Siam Bioscience.
According to a Bangkok Post report, the DMS tested each of the 5 samples submitted for approval and found that they met all criteria laid out in the registration process, including chemical composition and safety. The results support a drive to have the vaccine mass-produced in the Kingdom, with the FDA having already authorised Siam Bioscience to ramp up production. Thailand finds itself in the grip of its worst outbreak yet, with the government heavily criticised for the slow pace of its vaccine rollout. Siam Bioscience is expected to deliver the first lot of jabs next month.
In addition, the National Vaccine Institute and the Department of Disease Control are placing a joint order for doses of the vaccine produced by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. Nakhon Premsri from the NVI says officials from the Public Health Ministry have met with Pfizer representatives and the NVI and DDC have been put in charge of all procurement-related paperwork to speed up the delivery.
The Bangkok Post reports that the Pfizer jab may be better suited to those of school-going age, who pose an increased risk of creating a major outbreak. It’s understood the vaccine can now also be stored at higher temperatures than previously thought, making transportation logistics less challenging.
PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, who has now been given sole authority for managing all aspects of the pandemic, says distribution of doses will be accelerated by involving private hospitals in the administration of vaccines.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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