Siam Bioscience Co. says the July due date for delivering its locally-produced Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccines is still feasible. The company is currently sending vaccine samples to laboratories in Europe and the US for quality inspections. If they are approved, then the samples will be sent to AstraZeneca for final inspections. After that, the vaccines will be registered with Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration to be greenlighted for mass production. Siam Bioscience says it is capable of producing the vaccines domestically at almost the same rate as Australian and South Korean manufacturers as it is using the same technology from AstraZeneca.
The deputy government spokeswoman says that between 6-10 million doses of the vaccine will be ready to be administered in June. The corporate communication director of Siam Bioscience, Nualphan Lamsam, says the company is working as fast as it can.
“All parties concerned are working against time to produce the vaccine as fast as possible and make it an alternative to help save lives.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul told Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration that the company has improved the vaccine’s efficacy against the Brazilian and South African strains of the coronavirus. But, there is no word yet on whether the company is also planning to improve the vaccine’s efficacy against the UK virus variant, known as B117. In Thailand, 608,521 people have now received at least their first dose of Covid vaccine.
Today, Thailand has reported the highest ever daily amount of new infections at 1,767. The spokesperson for the CCSA also reported that there were also 128 people in serious condition, with 28 people on ventilators. The third wave of Covid-19 has caused concern amongst authorities after announcing plans to reopen Phuket in July. The plan was to allow those foreign tourists, who are fully vaccinated, to enter the tourist island without needing to undergo a quarantine.
Thailand’s Sports and Tourism minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn is acknowledging that Phuket’s ‘Sandbox’ model will need “a major revamp.” He says he plans to meet with “all related agencies” this week. Apart from the latest national re-surge in new infections, Phuket has been unable to get its hands on sufficient vaccines to meed its deadline of 70% of the island vaccinated by July 1. Thailand’s limited supplies of the vaccine – including some 930,000 doses designated for Phuket – are being rerouted to other provinces as the government prioritises the limited supply.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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