Thailand to set aside 3 billion baht for first doses of Covid-19 vaccine

PHOTO: Thailand Business News

Thailand’s National Vaccine Committee is to request nearly 3 billion baht in order to procure enough doses of a Covid-19 vaccine for half its population, beginning with frontline healthcare workers. The committee, chaired by Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, wants to set aside 2.93 billion baht to be able to purchase adequate supplies of the vaccine from overseas. The aim is to acquire enough doses to vaccinate 33 million people, roughly half the population, at a cost of 700 baht per dose. It’s understood that people will need 2 doses of the vaccine in order for it to be effective.

Health Ministry spokeswoman Panprapa Yongtrakul says officials are looking at producers who have finished phase 3 trials, of which there are currently around 10, in the US, the UK, China, and Russia. Talks are ongoing with Covax, a collaboration between the World Health Organisation and other groups working on the development, production, and fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.

The director of the National Vaccine Institute, Dr. Nakorn Premsri, says pre-ordering is essential in order to ensure the vaccine can be widely administered as soon as possible after development. He adds that healthcare workers will be first in line.

“We expect the vaccine to be ready next year, and each person will require 2 doses. The deal for reserving vaccines for Thai people will be discussed later this month. Our proposed budget is subject to approval by the Cabinet, which will decide if it should come from the national budget or government loans. The vaccines will be supplied in lots, so payments can also be made in instalments.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Nation Thailand

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