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Thailand’s immunisation plan might be delayed, EU threatens ban on vaccine exports

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thailand’s immunisation plan might be delayed, EU threatens ban on vaccine exports | The Thaiger
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Thailand plans to receive the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines within the next couple of weeks, but the mass immunisation campaign might be put on hold due to possible restrictions on exports from the European Union.

The EU warned pharmaceutical companies, like AstraZeneca, that they would take legal action and possibly block exports if the drugmakers do not deliver shots that were secured by the Western countries.

The Thai government had earlier announced that February 14 would be the first day of vaccinations. At yesterday’s National Vaccine Committee meeting, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said it’s not clear when the first batch of 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will arrive, but added that he still expects the vaccine to arrive within the next month.

If the EU decides to block exports of the vaccine, which is being made in Italy, Thailand may have to wait until June, according to Anutin. In a contract with the Thai government, AstraZeneca agreed to deliver the complete order of vaccines by June. Thailand has secured 26 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and recently reserved another 35 million doses.

“Thailand has requested an amendment to the contract to deliver the first lot of 50,000 doses, and then another 100,000 doses.”

SOURCES: Nation Thailand| Reuters

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63 Comments

63 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Ray

    Friday, January 29, 2021 at 3:53 pm

    Probably the Brits and Israel are to blame. The Eu has funded Astra-Zenica but it looks like they sold part of the allocated batches for the EU to the UK and Israel at higher prices. This is speculation at the moment but Astra-Zenica doesn’t want to give any production and sales data to the EU. This angers me too because I was supposed to vaccinated in March -April with this vaccine but now it is unclear. If the EU is going to block the export they do this to secure their allocated batches.

    • Avatar

      Colin G

      Friday, January 29, 2021 at 4:47 pm

      If you mean the UK is to blame for keeping to their contract, with the first round of AZ jabs being primarily produced at their UK bases, then you are correct.

      However, that does somewhat overlook the fact that the EU countries faffed around with their procurement, arguing whether it should be done nationally or through Brussels. Consequently, they were very late to the party when it came to ordering and also, critically, for approving the vaccine for use.

      Just sayin’…..

      • Avatar

        Ray

        Friday, January 29, 2021 at 5:23 pm

        This what I heard in the media. Apparently the AZ factory in the UK had problems with the initial production. The factory in the EU then sent batches to keep the vaccination program in the UK going. As we know it was already approved in the UK before this happened weeks later in the EU. The result is that the EU now only gets 40% of the ordered (and paid for) vaccines and the UK (and Israel) have no shortages. What speaks against AZ is that they are not transparent about the production numbers, contracts with other countries and sales. All agreed that it never would be first come, first served. The contracts with the UK and the EU were both signed before the vaccine was developed. It now feels that the UK rushed the approval because they somehow got word about possible shortages in the local AZ factory. If AZ played it correctly they should have stopped the vaccination delivery in the UK temporarily so the upcoming shortage would be distributed over all parties involved. The EU is rightfully very upset.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Friday, January 29, 2021 at 9:00 pm

          The UK just brought any doses of anything that looked as if it might work, in the hope that it would rather than do anything else. At the last count they had over 300 million doses on order, down payments made, all on borrowed money.

          • Avatar

            James R

            Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 4:25 am

            Issan John

            Yes the Brits were forward thinking and did buy what might work, it was a gamble we could afford and it has paid off.

            So we get to use the drugs produced in Britain (you know the ones you said incorrectly we did not make ourselves) and drugs from other countries, we ordered well in advance.

            But dim countries like the EU and Thailand will have to wait, well Thailand will have to wait a year to get any number of doses which is significant, you might get the odd 50,000 doses now and then.

            But as you hate the UK so much I hope you refuse to use our vaccines out of spite?

            I suppose you are seen as intelligent in the backward region of Issan referred to as Laos by other Thais.

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 2:55 pm

            Being ashamed of my country’s performance over Covid, amongst other things, James R, doesn’t mean I “hate” it, just that I’m ashamed of it. Rather different.

            … and FWIW they’re not “your” vaccines, unless you had anything to do with their development or own the companies producing them.

        • Avatar

          Alavan

          Friday, January 29, 2021 at 10:38 pm

          Funy, AstraZeneca showed parts of the contract with the EU.
          You can read that the UK plants have to deliver to the UK… But the time periods are blacked out, censured.

        • Avatar

          Colin G

          Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 10:25 am

          You have your facts muddled. It is the production facilities in Europe that have had the problems, not in the UK.

        • Avatar

          Bo

          Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 11:11 am

          @Ray

          It is first come first served

          EU order 3 MONTH later than UK.
          AZ only promised EU to do their best to descendants their order

          Because EU fucked up their order, the rest of the world need to wait

          EU took 3 WEEKS longer to approve the vaccine than UK did
          How many people died of corona in the EU while waiting?

          How many people need to die because EU want “EU FIRST” as Donald Trump would have said

          • Avatar

            Ray

            Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 5:19 pm

            @Bo. Nope you’re misinformed. The UK and EU both funded the research, development and new factories to produce the vaccine. There was no first come first served. That only applies to those countries who did not fund and want to buy the vaccine.

      • Avatar

        Alavan

        Friday, January 29, 2021 at 5:25 pm

        But the EU gave AstraZeneca 300m Euro for development. Big part of it was invested in the UK plants, and there was an agreement to provide the EU also with vaccines from those plants, to reach the numbers agreed in the contract. So if AstraZeneca comes back on this and is backed by Boris, then it is normal that the EU will block exports to the UK from Pfizer (which delivers now) and in the near future from Jansen Pharmaceutica (Johnson & Johnson) and GSK. I don’t know if agreed exports to other countries will be blocked.
        Anyhow, I was planned to get my vaccinations in March-April with AstraZeneca, but I don’t know if this is still in the pipelines as there is doubt that AstraZeneca is working well in persons over 65. The tests were done on only 12% of people older than 65 and only 8% older than 70. So there are not enough data available. That is why Germany will not use the vaccine on older people. The vaccin works there less than 70%

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Friday, January 29, 2021 at 8:53 pm

        The AZ vaccine production in the UK is only just getting of the ground at its two factories (Oxford and Keele). The “production” at Wrexham is only sub-contracted production of the phials and fill ‘n’ finish of vaccine produced in the EU.

    • Avatar

      Paul

      Friday, January 29, 2021 at 9:00 pm

      The Oxford AZ vaccine is being sold on a not-for-profit basis while there is a pandemic. The UK is way ahead of the EU in all things vaccination as they did not have to deal with the same amount of bureaucracy.

      • Avatar

        Ray

        Friday, January 29, 2021 at 10:46 pm

        I doubt it, AZ doesn’t disclose any sales figures. It is all very shady. The UK and the EU both co-funded the research and factories to create and produce the vaccine. It doesn’t matter one did so before the other, as each was promised there would be no first come, first served. AZ should have evaluated the UK order when it became apparent not all co-funding countries would get their share of the vaccine. I don’t know whether Israel was a co-funder or that they simply paid more to receive the vaccines. It is clear that the EU has to wait much longer than anticipated. That has nothing to do with bureaucracy.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 2:46 pm

          Agree with you, but Israel neither co-funded the AZ vaccine, nor have they had any vaccines from AZ.

          They’ve had nearly all their vaccines from Pfizer, plus some from Moderna.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 2:42 pm

        ALL vaccines approved so far are being sold “on a not-for-profit basis while there is a pandemic”, not just Astra Zeneca’s.

        What’s often overlooked, though, is that it’s up to each manufacturer who’s said that to decide when the pandemic ends and when they can put up their prices.

    • Avatar

      EdwardV

      Friday, January 29, 2021 at 10:59 pm

      The Brits and Israel are to blame? Clearly you joke. Lots of countries funded Astra-Zenica, Britain more than the EU. The idea Israel is to blame for any of this is absurd. They were offered vaccines for their entire country early with the provision Israel would act as a guinea pig in return. Giving the world the data needed. The UK signed their contracts three months early, with stipulations the GB plants would fill the order first before other countries, in return the Brits would pay a premium (something the EU was not willing to do). The EU on the other hand fiddled while Rome burned and now are unhappy with their placement in the que. They have no one to blame buy themselves, but are so full of themselves they demand better treatment at the expense of others.

      • Avatar

        Ray

        Friday, January 29, 2021 at 11:38 pm

        I am sorry EdwardV, you seem to have knowledge others don’t have. Prices and sales figures for the AZ vaccine are not disclosed. Co-funders were promised their share and not on a first come, first served base. Agreements were signed in due time and with the funding the vaccine it has been possible to make it in such a short period. How do you explain Israel and the UK got enough of the AZ vaccine and the EU not? You can’t. There is something shady going on here.

        • Avatar

          EdwardV

          Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 12:21 am

          Are the actual prices published, no. However the idea they are not known is naïve at best. There has been more than one EU MP who has boasted of the fact the EU is paying cost. Just as there are plenty of English MPs who have commented they are paying a premium. That was all prior to the latest flare up, back when there was little reason to do so other than let the media know those persons are in the know. The British contract is known and it has the stipulation they get first dibs from English factories. The EU just published their highly redacted contract with AZ and there are multiple references to “best reasonable efforts” to supply the vaccine. Doesn’t sound like the wording you would expect for a co-funder expecting to be prioritized. Why the UK and Israel got their vaccines was already explained. The UK signed their contract three months before the EU. Pretty simple. As for Israel, they got theirs for the world wide purpose to provide data (same with the UAE). Took some pretty big balls for Israel to put their entire population at risk to be first. What is that saying, no good deed goes unpunished.

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 12:41 am

            Israel got “first dibs” because they paid twice as much as anyone else, and they’ve made no secret of it.

          • Avatar

            Ray

            Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 1:03 am

            The contract which was published today is not redacted by the EU. Parts of it are blacked out by AZ. The “best reasonable efforts” clause is open for interpretation and lawyers are already on it. To be honest, I raised my eyebrow when the EU announced the agreement months ago. It was said that the huge investments paid by each party were different but would not affect prioritizing distribution. Each paid to their ability and it would be a fair process. Well, it turned out otherwise.

    • Avatar

      Alavan

      Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 12:17 am

      Israel uses Pfizer, not the Oxford vaccine

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 12:53 am

        Absolutely correct, Alavan. making it impossible for them to be part of the whole Astra Zeneca fiasco in any way, but nobody here cares.

        FWIW they paid the set price for the first 10 million doses ($30) from Pfizer which they said openly this month, to be used as a trial, then reportedly a lot more ($47?) for the rest – mainly from Pfizer, some from Moderna.

        Whatever they paid it made no difference to Astra Zeneca’s distribution to the UK or EU but so what? Few here care whether it’s true or not …

        • Avatar

          Ray

          Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 1:34 am

          I am reading several sources that say Israel is using the AstraZenica vaccine as well as Moderna’s and Pfizer’s. Anyway, their deals with Pharma still exposes the cattle market trade it has become.

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 2:49 pm

            “Sources” like the comments section here?

            Israel has been perfectly open about who it bought it’s vaccines from, and it has to be as part of it’s agreement with Pfizer.

          • Avatar

            Ray

            Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 4:26 pm

            Nope IJ, I googled the sources same as you do. However, you always seem to come up with selective articles that underline your opinions and leave out others. I have seen articles that just mention Israel uses Pfizer’s vaccine. Others mentioned also Moderna’s. And then there are articles that say Israel uses three vaccines including AZ’s.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, January 29, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    Too bad Thailand, but whitey comes first.
    Prejudice, which you inflict on whitey, justifies prejudice against you.
    Who said Thailand was going to produce this vaccine in Thailand? Oh yes the oracle of Isaan did.
    I would not give them any. I read there is some new herb that alleviates covid, and they can always fill their hospitals with chanting monks, scattering water everywhere.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 2:58 pm

      Actually Astra Zeneca, Siam BioScience and the Thai government said “Thailand was going to produce this vaccine in Thailand”.

      Whether that’s what will happen or not I don’t know, but that is what all three said.

  3. Avatar

    Laurent Fauquex

    Friday, January 29, 2021 at 4:59 pm

    Anutin refused the offer from the Indian gouvernement for the supply of the vaccine. What a mistake!

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 3:07 pm

      Under reported for some reason, Laurent F, but yes, reportedly Thailand did reject an offer from the Serum Institute of India to sell Thailand 2 million doses of Astra Zeneca vaccine at cost.

      Unfortunately vaccinations and supply are now very much a political issue here, and the reason for the rejection may well be debated in parliament and will have to be explained.

  4. Avatar

    Jason

    Friday, January 29, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    I am thankful that in my country we are producing that vaccine on home soil. I know that my country will continue to produce vaccine, well beyond what we need. I am sure we will send it to all our neighbouring countries as we have a moral obligation to do so…for humanity.

    • Avatar

      Michael

      Friday, January 29, 2021 at 5:31 pm

      Are you joking?
      There is no country sending vaccines to other countries.
      Companies do so, and they are in it for the money.

      • Avatar

        Ray

        Friday, January 29, 2021 at 5:45 pm

        China is sending vaccines to the Philippines in exchange for territory. They could get the vaccines when they no longer objected to China’s false claims in the South Chinese sea. They are doing it in other countries as well. Russia is is also eager to give it to poorer countries. The vaccine is being used as political instrument as we speak.

        • Avatar

          Michael

          Friday, January 29, 2021 at 6:54 pm

          I had no clue that “Jason” is a Chinese name. Else I would have understood that he is spreading false information.

          First the Chinese gave us Covid. And instead of feeling ashamed and accept responsibility they start to switch the blame to the West.

          And instead of helping neighboring countries they are blackmailing them. Every time I hear about China they fall even further into the hole of shamelessness that they dig themselves.

          I am wondering what Thailand has to give them to receive vaccines.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Friday, January 29, 2021 at 8:56 pm

          Untrue for China. Sinovac is a privately owned company, actually 15% Thai owned by the CP Group.

          • Avatar

            Michael

            Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 2:54 am

            There are no privately owned companies in China. Ultimately, everything is state property and everything serves the survival of the CCP.

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 2:50 pm

            CP will be disappointed to hear that, Michael. Maybe you’d better tell them ….

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Friday, January 29, 2021 at 8:55 pm

        India is producing the vaccine as their production is state owned, and they have sent millions of doses abroad.

        Vaccine diplomacy.

  5. Avatar

    Jason

    Friday, January 29, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    No, I’m not joking. My country won’t just stop when it citizens are vaccinated. We will continue to produce and help our neighbours as we have done for many years, whenever our neighbours are in crisis. And producers ARE sending vaccines to other countries around the world. Vaccine companies are entitled to receive payment for their work and expertise…how else can they continue?? I think media scrutiny around the world, would soon see any pharmaceutical company trying to profiteer go out of business. They might thrive now, but will wither shortly after the crisis subsides. Ironically, it’s a bit like Winston Churchill…popular during the war, then voted out of office in the first general election after the war!

    • Avatar

      luca

      Friday, January 29, 2021 at 7:12 pm

      the Chinese vaccine seems to be among the worst, if we consider that the Chinese population need at least three billion doses for a double shot, the fact that they give it to other countries is just vulgar propaganda, from a government of communist dictators you cannot expect the truth

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Friday, January 29, 2021 at 11:43 pm

        On what grounds is it “the worst”?

        Side effects?

        Efficacy at preventing fatalities and serious illness across all age groups?

        Have any of the countries that have actually used it, and there have been several, said it has been anything other than excellent?

        (Hint: the answers, in order, are: none, none, 100%, and no)

        • Avatar

          EdwardV

          Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 12:56 am

          What grounds? Wouldn’t the efficacy of 50.4% qualify? After all, 50% is the bar that needs to be crossed to even make the approved list. So as long as a country doesn’t complain after the fact, the vaccine is excellent? Not too sure the logic works that way. John very few are lining up to buy it, doesn’t that say something? When you have few to no options, you kinda are forced to take what you can when waiting might kill thousands of your citizens.

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 3:20 pm

            No, Ed V, in my book the “efficacy of 50.4%” WOULDN’T “qualify” as it includes anyone who was symptomatic, however mild – because if you accept that figure, you also accept the figure of 100% for severe symptoms, and 78 – 80% for mild to severe cases.

            I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer a 50.4% chance of avoiding a mild infection and a 100% chance of avoiding a severe infection to a 95% chance of avoiding any infection …

            … given the choice, what would you prefer: a 1 in 2 chance of a mild infection, or a 1 in 20 chance of a severe infection and death?

          • Avatar

            EdwardV

            Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 12:21 am

            John you have to be kidding. By any comparative measure, even yours, the Chinese vaccine is by far the worse of any acceptable vaccine. Is it better than nothing sure, but that wasn’t the argument. John it’s so bad even the Chinese government went out and bought 100M doses of western vaccine for its leadership. The funny thing is a month ago you were bashing the Chinese vaccine, now you are defending it. Oh well that’s just the John we have all grown to appreciate.

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 1:05 am

            Not “kidding” at all, Ed V, just wondering, as others are, where you get your facts from.

            I’m not saying it’s good or bad, just asking you why you say its the “worst” and all you can do is burble nonsense about “By any comparative measure, even yours, the Chinese vaccine is by far the worse of any acceptable vaccine” without actually naming ANY comparative measure.

            That’s a little bit sad, even for you.

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 1:41 am

            Interested to know how you know that “the Chinese government went out and bought 100M doses of western vaccine for its leadership” too, Ed V, since nobody else has reported anything about that.

            The only “100M doses of western vaccine” bought by anyone in China that anyone else knows about is 100 million doses bought by Fosun Pharma (who also own Sinopharm) for commercial re-sale, which looks like being profitable as it put their share price up by 20%.

            I’d hate to think you’re just making this stuff up as you go along, Ed V, so where are you getting this from ?

    • Avatar

      Ray

      Friday, January 29, 2021 at 11:48 pm

      … and with shady, I mean that Johnson desperately needed something positive to justify the disaster which is Brexit. I suspect the UK government rushed the approval to get a head start over the other co-funders and secured their share. To achieve this must have put pressure on AZ because the company is obliged to equal distribution of the production. It is true that Israel jumped the queue by sharing personal information of the vaccinated population. Whether they could do so and if that was discussed with everyone involved remains to be seen. I doubt it.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 1:44 pm

      In 2price Thailand, the Thais are charging B3000 for the covid vaccine, B2350 for a Thai.
      They are already charging more for a covid test to foreigners, than Thais.
      Thailand deserve to be treated as a pariah State.
      I would sell or give them no vaccine, let them use their tried and tested, ban every thing, and let the citizens starve policy, but they will not catch the virus.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 3:24 pm

        Really, Toby?

        “the Thais are charging B3000 for the covid vaccine, B2350 for a Thai.”

        Do let others in to the secret, as there seem to be plenty of people who’d be happy to buy the vaccine in Thailand but you seem to be the only person who knows where …

  6. Avatar

    Sputnik 100

    Friday, January 29, 2021 at 7:04 pm

    Sorry folks, but Im waiting for Issan John to tell me what i should think and what the truth to the matter is, backed by “facts” (of his choosing) as is usual. Only he can tell us what is right and wrong.

  7. Avatar

    Frank

    Friday, January 29, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    EU always in discussion when they ever stop doing that… pathetic. They think they so good well it seems not because they can not get it under control and people are not listening either to them way the go EU

  8. Avatar

    Alavan

    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 12:21 am

    Johnson & Johnson seems OK. 66% protection against mild cases, 85 against stronger cases and maximum protection against hospitalisation and death.
    Only one shot, and can be stored up to 3 months between 2° and 8°.
    And tests also in South Africa, yes it works also against the SA variety.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 3:29 pm

      Agreed, 100%.

      I’d be very happy to take a risk of 1 in 3 (or 1 in 2) of a mild case and a zero risk of “hospitalisation and death” against a risk of 1 in 20 of “hospitalisation and death” which is what others seem to offer.

      … I’m quite happy to wait for a bit to see what becomes available and what happens.

  9. Avatar

    Ray

    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 3:10 am

    To be back on the topic. It was announced this evening that the EU indeed has taken some regulation measures. Producers of vaccines within the EU need to seek approval for export. It is further explained that it will not be an export stop, unless EU countries are being disadvantaged by the deal. In other words, if pharma companies sell allocated vaccines for the EU underhand at higher prices elsewhere the export permission will be denied.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 3:53 pm

      Over a hundred counteries are excluded from the regulations and any need for approval; the UK isn’t one of them.

      • Avatar

        Ray

        Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 4:21 pm

        From the BBC this morning:
        Despite later backtracking on Article 16 (the Irish protocol), the EU is still introducing new controls giving its member states the power to block exports of the coronavirus vaccine to countries including the UK – should they want to.

        The statement from the European Commission said, in order to tackle “the current lack of transparency” over vaccine exports outside the EU, it would be introducing a measure requiring that all such exports “are subject to an authorisation” by member states.

  10. Avatar

    Nipral

    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 11:39 am

    Where is the problem ? The first -and probably only one for a long time- batch is sufficient for some “elected” front-end workers (police, etc…) and government & friends.
    All others can wait as the country will probably not open before 2023 at best.
    Wealthy guys who have no adequate political “connections” can get their jab abroad.
    Life is beautiful, it is what it is ! And no question of elections before all voters are vaccinated !!!

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 3:59 pm

      Do you mean for the UK or for Thailand?

      For the UK, the problem is that they may not be able to produce enough vaccines themselves to keep up the level of vaccinations required, particularly if the current gap between doses proves too long (as the manufacturers say it is) so they have to re-re-vaccinate and they may as well have flushed the first vaccinations down the toilet. IF.

      For Thailand … 🙂

  11. Avatar

    Rob

    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    As to the possible ‘vaccine scheme of things’ here, does anyone know if, when, how, where Farangs might be included in the vaccine delivery lineup..?

  12. Avatar

    London Al

    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 1:28 am

    It’s a great shame the UK goevernment has used this for political purposes, if they were ahead of the game then it would be the first time for a year but according to them that’s not their fault, it is certainly fair to say the vaccination programme is going well here, however it’s not run by anyone in the government but a very highly qualified and clever biochemist who normally works for a venture capital company.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Public Health Minister gets first Covid-19 vaccine shot in Thailand

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Public Health Minister gets first Covid-19 vaccine shot in Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/ Anutin Charnvirakul

Thailand’s Covid-19 vaccine campaign started with Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul who was jabbed with China’s Sinovac vaccine. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha was initially planned to be the first to kick off Thailand’s immunisation plan with the AstraZeneca vaccine, but due to problems with paperwork, the prime minister’s injection was postponed. Doctors advised Prayut to get the AstraZeneca vaccine due to his age. Prayut is 66 and doctors say the Sinovac vaccine has been declared safe for people ages 18 to 59.

Both shipments of the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines arrived last week, the AstraZeneca vaccine still needs to be endorsed by the Medical Science Department. Anutin says the pharmaceutical company has not submitted documents and samples needed for the endorsement.

Along with Anutin, a number of other government officials and health professionals were vaccinated against the coronavirus. Anutin’s shot was administered by Thailand’s top virologist Yong Poovorawan.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

International travellers allowed to transit Thailand from Monday

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International travellers allowed to transit Thailand from Monday | The Thaiger

International travellers will now be allowed to transit Thailand from Monday after the Civil Aviation Authority relaxed Covid‐19measures. The lifting of stringent travel regulations comes after Thailand reports a drop in Covid infections to double digits since February 20.

CAAT also says regulations are being relaxed on domestic travel as well. The authority says operators of domestic flights can resume serving in-flight meals and drinks starting from Thursday.

Transport Minister, Sasksayam Chidchob, says the move is part of a resolution by the Centre for Covid‐19 Situation Administration to relax measures. Flight attendants and passengers, however, are still mandated to follow Covid control measures that include wearing face masks during the length of the flight except when eating or drinking.

In-flight meals and drinks were banned on December 30 under the government’s 4th announcement, but was cancelled when CAAT director general made a fifth announcement nullifying the regulation.

International passengers have been under strict regulations for a while, including being unable to transit at Thai airports or to transfer to other flights through Thai airports.

Samut Sakhon province, the epicentre of the second wave of Covidin Thailand, has reportedly been successful at disease control in high‐risk areas, including the Central Shrimp Market, which has been closed for over two months.

But that may change as rumour has it that the market may reopen from Monday, but an official announcement has yet to be made by the CCSA. Deputy governor Teerapat Kutchamath visited the market, assuring that it was, indeed, ready to open by Monday, while plans are already being set to make merit, in light of its expected reopening.

Meanwhile, The CCSA reports 72 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Kingdom today. 63 of those cases were domestically‐transmitted while 9 were imported.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

PM Prayut postponing Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues

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PM Prayut postponing Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues | The Thaiger

Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is postponing his inaugural Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues with the AstraZeneca vaccine shipment. According to Khaosod English, the vaccine shipment was sent to Thailand last Wednesday from South Korea, but was missing the additional required paperwork.

Prayut was supposed to receive the vaccine tomorrow, but the highly‐publicised event will not be happening. According to Khaosod English, an official at the Secretariat of the Prime Minister has also confirmed the news of the postponement without citing a reason.

Although the Sinovac vaccine is also being administered in Thailand, healthcare officials say Prayut is too old to receive it as its age limit is 60. Prayut is 66 years old, which is well over the oldest age that can receive the vaccine.

The Sinovac vaccine drive is set to commence on Monday, 2 weeks behind schedule. Those frontline health workers, hospitality workers and vulnerable groups will receive the vaccines first.

Meanwhile, Phuket is waiting for the green lightto start administering vaccines and has already held a vaccine administration rehearsal overseen by Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong along with other health officials.

Pichet says the first vaccine round of 4,000 doses should arrive early in March, with the 2nd and 3rd set of doses, 16,000 and 48,000 respectively, to arrive in April and May.

The government pandemic center reported 72 new confirmed infections on Friday, after first only reporting 45 new cases. 37 of those cases were locally-transmitted, and one 6 year old Thai girl returning from the UK was found to have tested positive for the virus. Samut Sakhon, again, reported over half of the new cases yesterday, as it remains the epicentre of Thailand’s second wave of the coronavirus outbreak.

The total virus tally in Thailand sits at 25,764, with 83 fatalities. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has not yet announced the amount of new cases for today.

There is no word yet on when PM Prayut will be rescheduled to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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