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Thai government to sign vaccine contract with Oxford University, AstraZeneca, today

Maya Taylor

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Thai government to sign vaccine contract with Oxford University, AstraZeneca, today | The Thaiger
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The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha, has confirmed that Thailand will today sign a contract with Oxford University and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, for the procurement of their Covid-19 vaccine. The PM says the agreement will mean Thais can access the vaccine once it goes into production. This contract is in addition to the agreement signed for the transfer of vaccine technology that will enable it to be manufactured here.

Earlier this week, the team behind the vaccine announced that it was between 70-90% effective, depending on the dosage. The discrepancy raised some questions, as it appeared the vaccine was more effective when administered first as a half-dose, followed by a full dose, rather than when 2 full doses were administered. The team now says it may carry out another global trial to determine why the lower dose appears more effective.

The PM points out that one significant advantage the vaccine has is that it can be stored at temperatures of 2 – 8 degrees Celsius, unlike those of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which need to be stored at much lower freezer temperatures (around -70 degrees Celsius, in the case of the Pfizer jab). Such a requirement could create a logistical nightmare for some countries.

The PM says the vaccine is likely to be approved and go into production in Thailand by the middle of 2021, adding that the quicker it’s available, the quicker the tourism sector and the overall economy will recover.

According to a Thai PBS World report, the PM says many other countries have signed similar deals with pharmaceutical companies, in order to guarantee access to effective vaccines for their citizens. Meanwhile, he adds that, until the vaccine is available, people should continue with hygiene measures such as mask-wearing in public spaces, hand-washing and social distancing, in order to avoid the repeat waves of the virus that other countries are having to deal with.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Buttaxe

    Friday, November 27, 2020 at 10:37 am

    Manufacturing it here is a smart move, but these Western big pharma companies, particularly American are expensive and put big profit uber alles. So I’m surprised the cheaper, and more humanitarian Russian or Chinese alternatives are not being considered. Particularly given the closeness of this government to China. Is it yet another example of the Thai elite profiting from C19…

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, November 27, 2020 at 11:38 am

      Sorry. but that’s simply rubbish and you need to make yourself better informed before making such comments.

      AZ’s vaccine is a tenth the cost of Moderna’s or Pfizer’s, and that’s before you even consider the storage, transportation and distribution costs.

      It’s also being properly trialled and tested, and subject to an open approval system unlike the Russian and Chinese vaccines which are not yet approved – the Chinese vaccine hasn’t even been approved by China.

      AZ is also supplying the vaccine at cost to developing countries in perpetuity, unlike Moderna and Pfizer who are only doing so for a limited time.

      Sorry, but what you’re saying is simply wrong.

      • Avatar

        Buttaxe

        Friday, November 27, 2020 at 1:59 pm

        No need to apologise, you demonstrate your ignorance on a whole range of subjects – on a daily basis, lets just add the above comments on Russian and Chinese medicine to that long, long list.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Friday, November 27, 2020 at 2:41 pm

          OK, apology withdrawn.

          China has four vaccines in Phase 3 trials, developed by 3 companies – as at today, Fri 27 November at least on this part of this particular planet, none have been approved by China. None. N-O-N-E.

          If you’re better informed, then please explain which of the Chinese vaccines China has approved ….. or not.

          The Russian vaccine, meanwhile, Sputnik V, was approved by Russia on August 11 after Phase 1 and 2 trials on only 76 participants (that’s seventy six) and according to the latest figures on 24 November, three months later and three days ago, only 19,000 have had both doses of the vaccine or a placebo (with 8 who had the vaccine or 0.06% developing Covid, and 31 who had the placebo, or 0.6%, developing Covid) with even the interim data yet to be published.

          Again, if you’re better informed then please explain and show up my ignorance ….. or not.

          We’re all entitled to our own opinions but not our own facts, and what you’re saying and rather stupidly doubling down on is simply rubbish, and that’s being polite.

          • Avatar

            Buttaxe

            Friday, November 27, 2020 at 4:06 pm

            Amazing ability you have to make up facts on the fly, can’t help but notice no sources are mentioned. N-O-N-E.

            Stick to commenting on something you know something about, Issan? Well perhaps not.

            Get a life Johnny. L-I-F-E.

      • Avatar

        James

        Friday, November 27, 2020 at 10:47 pm

        Issan john

        Yes what you say is true.

        India are also going to manufacture the Oxford vaccine to distribute amongst its people.

        We should ignore people like Buttaxe otherwise known as Bollocks as that is what they come out with time after time.

        Why are these people so negative about everything?

        Maybe it is them who need to get a life.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Saturday, November 28, 2020 at 10:07 am

          Thanks, James.

          FWIW, he can easily find any number of sources confirming the status of both the Russian and Chinese vaccines by doing a search for “russian vaccine approved” (I used the first link, but the second, the Lancet, has the same details), and “chinese vaccine approved”.

          The three leading Western vaccines all have issues, but why anyone would imagine Thailand or anyone else should use the Russian or Chinese vaccines instead is beyond me.

          Why are these people so negative?

          It’s this childish idea that Thais / the government / Prayut / TAT / anyone who isn’t a farang / perm any combination / are incapable of getting anything right so everything they do has to be wrong.

          It’s moronic. Whatever the rights and wrongs of their politics or their motivation, credit should be given where due, otherwise criticism’s meaningless.

          Like it or not, whether by luck or judgement, Thailand (and other Asean countries) and the Thais have done a fantastic job handling Covid-19 – not perfect, but way, way better than the West who have stuffed up from day 1 on every level, governmental and individual, and some people just don’t want to accept that.

  2. Avatar

    B.T.

    Friday, November 27, 2020 at 10:44 am

    Populistic move without consideration that there is not vaccine yet and company has problems now.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, November 27, 2020 at 11:43 am

      What “problems” does the company have now?

      Their share price went down because they confirmed they’re not going to put up their prices for the vaccine for developing countries for whom they are going to keep it at cost inperpetuity.

      So … WHAT “PROBLEMS” DOES THE COMPANY HAVE, EXACTLY?

  3. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Friday, November 27, 2020 at 10:54 am

    According to the BP: “ AstraZeneca said on Thursday further research was needed on its Covid-19 vaccine after questions emerged over the protection it offers” . Seems AZ screwed up the test giving the lower dose to the wrong group. The group with the lower dose and higher immunity didn’t have anyone in it over 55 years old. They don’t think they will be required to do the test over but it’s not ruled out either. If so, a retest would set them back up to several months.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, November 27, 2020 at 2:08 pm

      Yes and no, I think, Ed V.

      They didn’t give the lower dose to the “wrong group” – no-one was meant to get the lower dose at all and it was simply a mistake, as they’ve said openly.

      As AZ said, pure “serendipity” as otherwise they would never have known.

      According to recent medical articles, such as the BMJ, they won’t have to “do the test over” as their tests aren’t at the same level yet as Moderna’s and Pfizer’s who ran their Phase 2 and 3 tests concurrently, while AZ was doing the tests more ‘traditionally’ separately, so far only doing Phase 2 testing (on 700 people, which this was) before moving on to Phase 3 next (on 40,000 like Moderna’s and Pfizer’s).

      AZ can now move on to Phase 3 testing, which they need to do anyway, if necessary doing any Phase 2 “retest” at the same time (as the other two did).

      All will then do Phase 4 after approval and licensing, with ‘ongoing studies’ which will probably be at their most intensive until the middle of next year.

      I think the efficacy question’s a lot more unclear, particularly for the elderly and more vulnerable, as Moderna’s and Pfizer’s data is a lot less transparent and their vaccines appear to be less effective with those groups while AZ’s appears to be consistent across all groups.

      That suggests to me that, for the elderly and more vulnerable, AZ’s vaccine might at worst be a few percentage points less effective, but at a far more likely best it could well be ten or even twenty percentage points higher – with the added clear bonus that AZ’s prevents transmission, while the other two apparently don’t.

      What seems to be happening is that Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech are pulling out all the stops and cutting all the corners to get their vaccines approved and technically “out” and sold by the end of the year so they can sell at top dollar to the West, making mega short-term profit, as they’re never going to be able to sell at profit to developing countries who aren’t going to be able to address the storage, transport and distribution issues.

      Meanwhile AZ, while appearing a lot more ‘ethical’, will still make their own mega profits from the West in the longer term as even at five times cost price they’ll still be a lot less than half the cost of the competition (who will probably manufacture AZ’s vaccine under licence to meet the ongoing demand) so they can afford to sell a bit later than the other two to the developing countries, at cost, without them having the storage and distribution issues,

      That suggests to me that Thailand’s very much fallen on its feet with AstraZeneca and the vaccine, although “serendipity” has probably played a much bigger part than any planning.

  4. Avatar

    Nipral

    Friday, November 27, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    Wrong pick kids !!! Once again….
    Probably the best kick backs but the worse vaccine…

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, November 27, 2020 at 2:45 pm

      Based on what, exactly?

      Do tell …..

      • Avatar

        Robocop

        Friday, November 27, 2020 at 4:34 pm

        Well its quite obvious instead of being seperate to the NWO, Thailand seems to be happy to go along with the western farce, so much for an asian country you can trust not to go along with this farce, are there any??

      • Avatar

        Nipral

        Friday, November 27, 2020 at 5:03 pm

        Reality as reported by media AND AZ, smart genius !

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Friday, November 27, 2020 at 8:21 pm

          So AstraZeneca are saying that theirs is “the worse vaccine” but they’ve been giving “the best kick backs” … and “the media” have reported that?

          Really?

  5. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, November 27, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    The “reality” seems to be that AstraZeneca are still not keen to move on without doing more tests, as they want to re-run them in full Phase 3 numbers before applying for approval as the data is far from complete – but at the same time they’re clearly and openly being put under increasing political pressure from Boris Johnson et al to push something out before the end of the year.

    Maybe the UK will be the guinea pigs for Thailand …555

  6. Avatar

    Patrick Kelly

    Friday, November 27, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    In the mean time Thailand like Rome is burning from lack of tourism. Waiting for a cheap vaccine is morally corrupt. Those involved in the tourism trade in Thailand don’t have years to wait for the perfect cheap vaccine.

  7. Avatar

    Issan John

    Saturday, November 28, 2020 at 10:46 am

    Why is it “morally corrupt” when opening the borders to tourism before a vaccine is available would cause even more damage to the country economically and socially?

    Why?

    … and what about those NOT involved in the tourism trade in Thailand?

    Should they be made to suffer too so that it’s equal misery for all, just so a few selfish farangs can have a holiday and those in the tourist trade can have a brief respite before facing even more longer term problems?

  8. Avatar

    Patrick Kelly

    Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 1:46 am

    A vaccine is not going to make COVID disappear. Thailand will have to keep closing the border when the rates increase even after a vaccine is available. What do you do then? You have no answers other than kill your economy for years.

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Bangkok

Chatuchak market is in worst crisis in 5 decades due to Covid-19, vendors say

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Chatuchak market is in worst crisis in 5 decades due to Covid-19, vendors say | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bucketlistly

Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok’s biggest market and a popular tourist destination, is hit hard by the new wave of Covid-19. With the lack of foreign tourists due to travel restrictions over the past year, as well as more locals staying at home despite the market’s strict disease control measures, the number of visitors at the market has dropped by 90%.

Vendors at the market say this is the worst situation in 50 years. Most of them report no sales at all. With little to no income, many shops at the market have shut down. Although the BMA is trying to relieve the situation by lowering the rental fees by half, that seems not enough to help the business. Some of the vendors have tried online trading, but sales are still low.

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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Thailand

Hotline set up for reports on alleged Covid-19 measure violations

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Hotline set up for reports on alleged Covid-19 measure violations | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Campus Star

The government is now encouraging people to help report activities deemed to violate the government’s rules and regulations to curb the spread of Covid-19 by calling the national hotline at 1111. People can report on any violations set by the Emergency Decree, which has been in place since last year and extended numerous times to combat the coronavirus.

The government says people can call the hotline for major violations, like labour trafficking across Thailand’s porous border with Myanmar, which is said to have led to the new wave of infections affecting a large migrant community in Samut Sakhon. People can also phone in the hotline for minor violations, even like gatherings that don’t abide by disease control measures.

According to the government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri, hundreds of citizens were reported violating the Covid-19 restriction measures and laws despite the Emergency Decree.

The hotline is open for the report of the alleged Covid-19 violations and also general complaints related to Covid-19 situations. All complaints and reports are expected to be fully investigated by agencies in charge and all information of callers will be kept confidential. Service for English speakers is available upon request.

Since being set up, the hotline has received a total of 32,008 inquiries and general questions so far.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

First phase of Thailand’s Covid-19 vaccinations to start on February 14

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First phase of Thailand’s Covid-19 vaccinations to start on February 14 | The Thaiger
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The government plans to begin Thailand’s 3-phase vaccination plan on February 14, starting with healthcare and frontline workers as well as vulnerable groups.

At the Covid-19 vaccination administration subcommittee meeting today, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the first phase of inoculations starting next month will target 19,014,154 Thai people in 4 priority groups…

  • 1,700,000 health workers in both public and private health care sectors.
  • 6,163,095 populations with underlying conditions.
  • 11,136,059 people aged over 60 years
  • Covid-19 task force who are in close contact with infected patients.

The vaccine availability remains limited and only target groups who are at high risk of infection will be vaccinated during the first phase of the vaccination plan, according to permanent secretary of public health Kiattiphum Wongrajit. The vaccines will be free and are not compulsory, Anutin says.

The AstraZeneca vaccine, developed in partnership with Oxford University, was approved by the Thai government for emergency last week. The first batch of 50,000 doses are expected to arrive next month. Thailand also expects 200,000 doses of China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine to arrive next month. The Chinese vaccine is expected to be approved by Thai drug regulators within the next 3 weeks.

The second phase of the 3-part plan is scheduled to run from May to December, offering vaccinations in all regions. Thai officials aim to have at least 50% of the Thai population vaccinated by the end of the year. The final phase will be rolled out in January 2022, with the goal to have enough vaccines to distribute to create herd immunity.

The government is also launched a Line Official Account called “Mor Prom”, translated as “doctor’s ready” to facilitate the vaccination administration. People can register to make appointments for vaccination, while health authorities can monitor the adverse effects of the vaccines. The platform is expected to launch on February 12 to serve the health workers before opening to the public in April.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post| Thairath online

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