Taiwan is expecting a holdup on its order of the Thai-made AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Malaysia and the Philippines have also reported that shipments of the vaccine from the Siam Bioscience manufacturing plant in Thailand have been delayed.
Siam Bioscience, which is wholly owned by a subsidiary of the Crown Property Bureau, is planned to be the AstraZeneca distribution hub for Southeast Asia and supply 200 million doses of the vaccine.
Over the past week, Siam Bioscience gave 1.8 million doses of the vaccine to the Thai government, allowing Thailand to start its mass vaccination campaign amid the most severe outbreak of Covid-19 infecting more than 150,000 people in the past few months. Thailand has had limited doses of the vaccine and relied heavily on the locally-made AstraZeneca vaccine for its mass immunisation programme.
Taiwan ordered 10 million doses of the vaccine from Siam Bioscience. Around 100,000 doses have been delivered so far, and the other orders have been delayed due to production problems, Taiwan’s Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said, according to Reuters.
Officials from Malaysia and the Philippines have also reported that orders of the Thai-made AstraZeneca vaccine have been delayed. The first order to the Philippines, one of Asian countries hit hardest by the pandemic, has been reduced and postponed.