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Siam Bioscience delivers 1.8 million local AstraZeneca vaccines

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: 1.8 million AstraZeneca vaccines have been delivered today. (by Flickr Marco Verch)

Well, it’s a start.

Good news today for Thailand’s snail-paced rollercoaster of vaccine rollout as the Ministry of Public Health has taken possession of the first 1.8 million AstraZeneca vaccines produced domestically. The vaccines were manufactured in the Bangkok by Siam Bioscience and are slated to be an integral part of Thailand’s mass vaccination scheme officially launching next Monday.

Siam Bioscience held a ceremony where AstraZeneca (Thailand) President James Teague officially handed over the vaccines to Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, with other senior government health officials in attendance.

6 million vaccines will be received by the Public Health Ministry during the month of June, according to the Public Health Permanent Secretary. The vaccines, both Sinovac and AstraZeneca, will be dealt out across the nation as they are received, starting in Bangkok. The Permanent Secretary said that provinces in the further reaches of the country may see their vaccines arrive more slowly, but vowed to deliver all shipments by the scheduled date.

As vaccines become available, they will be allotted based on several factors and may stray from original plans.

“The needs will be assessed based on the severity of Covid-19 outbreaks in the provinces, as well as the relative importance of the province for tourism and other economic contributions.”

The delivery is a positive note and surprised some cynics after delays in Thai-made AstraZeneca vaccines to the Philippines were announced. But Teague says the revised delivery date in the Philippines will be met, and delivery to other Asian countries are on schedule. He also reassured that the Siam Bioscience-produced vaccines meet all the rigorous standards as foreign-produced AstraZeneca jabs, explaining that samples have already passed a 60-point review in the US and UK for quality control.

AstraZeneca now oversees 25 production facilities throughout the world. Their vaccine has now been produced and administered to people globally over 500 million times.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World


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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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