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Thai government negotiating another 5 million Sinovac vaccine doses from China



The Thai government is looking to lay its hands on another 5 million batches of the Sinovac Biotech ‘CoronaVac’ vaccine from China.

800,000 more doses of the Sinovac Biotech Covid vaccine arrived in Thailand yesterday and will be administered to health workers, the elderly and at-risk areas, according to Thailand’s public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul yesterday. Another 1 million doses, from the initial order of 2 million shots from China, will arrive next month.

200,000 doses of the Sinovac Biotech arrived 4 weeks ago.

The Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine will be used to provide the rest of the 2021 supplies to inoculate Thai citizens. An order of 26 million doses from Siam Bioscience, locally producing the AstraZeneca vaccine, have been reported as being available in the third quarter this. An additional 35 million doses will follow in Q4, according to the current roll out plans of the Thai government.

Minister Anutin Charnvirakul denies that the Thai government have never blocked attempts by the private sector to import and supply Covid vaccines. But back in December Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration ordered private hospitals and public administrators to stop their attempts to get hold of the vaccines. A month later the Public Health Minister said local administrations can use their own funds to buy approved Covid vaccines for administration in their localities.

“We stand ready to facilitate the private sector in importing the vaccines to serve people since the move would ease the burden of the government.”

The Federation of Thai Industries report that 109 private companies also want to vaccinate as many as 51,000 workers with approved vaccines. Provincial municipalities in Pattaya and Phuket, heavily impacted by the restrictions and lockdowns, have also set up projects to vaccinate large swathes of their local communities.

But, as of last week, only 61,791 people had received vaccines, according to Bangkok Post, a long way from the 67 million Thai population. Of the nearly 62,000 recipients, 50% were health workers, 11% were frontline workers, 32% were members of the community and 6% were over 60 years of age. Many of the initial vaccine allocations are being sent to Samut Sakhon, the hot spot in the centre of the December 2020 cluster that broke out amongst the migrant workers in Thailand’s seafood industry and markets, just south west of Bangkok.

5,000 doses were sent to Samut Sakhon Hospital, and another 5,000 to the Krathumbaen and Banphaeo hospitals in the province.

No allergic or adverse reactions have been registered as a result of the early vaccine rollout in Thailand.

Yesterday, there were 119 new Covid-19 cases – 112 local and 7 from travellers entering Thailand. 26 Thai and 12 Burmese are among the 38 cases in Samut Sakhon province, the centre of the recent Covid-19 cluster in December last year.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Thai PBS World


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