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Thailand expecting 3.5 million Sinovac vaccines by end of May

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: 3.5 million more Sinovac vaccines are expected this month.

Another 3.5 million Sinovac Biotech vaccines have been confirmed to be arriving by the end of May, health officials said Friday. With a slow vaccine rollout putting Thailand’s ambitious July 1 reopening plan in jeopardy, the confirmation of another batch of jabs is welcomed news.

The head of the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation announced the first million vaccines will arrive in just a few days, with a May 6 expected delivery date. By the end of May, 2 million more are expected to follow. The Chinese government has committed to donating an extra 500,000 jabs to round out the 3.5 million figure.

While the vaccine rollout in Thailand has been disappointingly slow, 2.5 million Sinovac vaccines have been distributed and is being administered mainly to health workers and those who are considered high risk for exposure or infection.

Thailand is acquiring vaccines from different brands and sources, but red tape and productions issues have mired progress. Sinovac and AstraZeneca are approved for use, with Zuellig Pharma, the producer of Moderna, requesting emergency authorisation to clear their vaccines for imports. Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, China’s Sinopharm, Bharat Biotech of India, and Russian vaccine Sputnik have all been reported to be in some stage of the complex registration, evaluation and approval process.

High hopes are pinned on AstraZeneca though, and their production partnership deal with Thailand’s Siam Bioscience, expected to start pumping out 61 million jabs of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the coming months. Production and delivery was scheduled for June, but rumours are suggesting delays until July.

The third wave of Covid-19 has hit Thailand far harder than the relatively mild first 2 waves, especially with the outbreak of the B.1.1.7 variant which is much more transmissible. Last month saw a record 36,000 infections and over 100 deaths, with increasing numbers of critical condition cases and people on ventilators.

SOURCE:The Star

 

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23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Tomos Tyler

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    So we have no vaccines yet… sinovac is the vaccine you get when you can not get a vaccine!

  2. Avatar

    Jason

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    In your shoes, I would rather depend on Astra Zeneca produced by your own vaccine producer. Australia has…but only for use in people over 50 (coincidentally the most vulnerable group).

  3. Avatar

    Robert Elliott

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    It’s no doubt the cheapest option. Not very effective but cheap.

  4. Avatar

    Ian Bromley

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 7:25 pm

    There is no way that Sinovac is going into my body. It has no published stage 3 trial results, it is not approved by WHO, in many countries in this region it is banned and in the UAE the resluts were so poor they have been giving third shots in an effort to create moderate immunity. Thai people are being experimented on at risk to their health & maybe life.

  5. Avatar

    Michael

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    “expected to start pumping out 61 million jabs of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the coming months”

    Dream on. That is for sure not going to happen. In Europe the AstraZeneca factories are an embarrassment. They are 200 million doses short of their promises because factories do not work, and AstraZeneca is unable to fix the problems. But in Thailand everything will go well from the start?

  6. Avatar

    Michael

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    “expected to start pumping out 61 million jabs of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the coming months”

    Dream on. That is for sure not going to happen. In Europe the AstraZeneca factories are an embarrassment. They are 200 million doses short of their promises because factories do not work, and AstraZeneca is unable to fix the problems. But in Thailand everything will go well from the start?

  7. Avatar

    Slugger

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 9:07 pm

    @Ian Bromley – A load of Sinophobic tosh spouted by a complete racist. Your mother should be ashamed of you.

  8. Avatar

    Buttaxe

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    Another brainwashed Brit. Put squeeky clean American Big-Pharma products in your arm then, it’s not like they own the FDA or anything. Sputnik is the best vaccine out there, but auntie (BBC) won’t allow you to believe that either.

  9. Avatar

    chupapi

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    fresh water costs more than that…

  10. Avatar

    squinter Labourer

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    What is going on. The worst of the bunch is accepted and the best are subjected to all kinds of delays. I smell foul play at the expense of the Thai people.

  11. Avatar

    Gosport

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    @Ian Bromley – Dude, have you ever got one jab?

  12. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    Chile reports the Sinovac vaccine only has a 16% efficacy after the first shot, it only gets into the 60s after the second dose. Countries like Chile are going through a huge outbreak after incorrectly assuming their population would be protected after the first doses (like the UK got with AZ). If Thailand relies on Sinovac in any large amount, they have to get those second doses administered as quick as required.

  13. Avatar

    James R

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    Tests from various countries have found the Sinovac vaccine is less than 50% affective, a lot of potential tourists will know that and stay away thinking going to Thailand on holiday in six months time is not safe as the population are not ‘really’ protected and thus another mutation could happen.

    Still if that is the only vaccine you can get in bulk then it is better than nothing.

  14. Avatar

    Moderna

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 5:42 am

    After abusing medical patent laws, Thailand is now cap in hand to the same big pharma they have plagirized for years. Sorry Somchai back of the queue!

  15. Avatar

    S2K

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 6:50 am

    @Tomos Tyler – It’s not proven to be dangerous. Just not as effective as the other vaccines. I still wouldn’t jump at it, though, simply because it came from China.

  16. Avatar

    Ben

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 8:58 am

    Only Sinovac and AZ are approved for use in Thailand. Is it because the Chinese are their biggest tourist market and Siam Bioscience, local producer of AZ, is owned by rich Thais? Is money and politics driving this at the expense of the Thai people? I don’t know. I’m asking.

    You have other vaccines that appear to work well yet they aren’t approved. Pfizer, Moderna and J&J (similar to the AZ vaccine) to name a few.

    The USA CDC (and most of the rest of the world) has approved these other jabs. Does Thailand know something we don’t?

    Why would Pfizer, Moderna and J&J give up their patent protection under these circumstances?

  17. Avatar

    Ben

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 9:06 am

    We see news stories like this everyday. 3.5 million doses arriving today. 10 million doses acquired yesterday.

    It would be more useful to give cumulative totals similar to testing and deaths. If Thailand needs 100 million doses to vaccinate 70% of its population then how many cumulative doses have been purchased, delivered/produced in country and put into arms, by vaccine.

    I also saw a story where 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine that has been pursued will be given to teenagers. WTF? It’s probably the most effective vaccine at keeping people from becoming seriously ill so why are you giving it to the population that’s least likely to get sick instead of to the population that’s most likely to get sick like the elderly and those with health issues?

    The Pfizer jab will be the most sought after jab in Thailand. My guess is the Hi-So’s will pay top dollar and scoop up the majority of the supply.

  18. Avatar

    Paul

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 10:03 am

    @EdwardV – sinovac is being given free as part of a trading deal.. thats whats going on.. read the news.. then as you say.. it does not work.

  19. Avatar

    Dr. Sanjava

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    CCP vaccine? No thanks! For all we know they most likely created the CCP coronavirus as well!

  20. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    “… Siam Bioscience, local producer of AZ, is owned by rich Thais?”

    No, Ben, Siam BioScience isn’t owned by “rich Thais”.

    It’s owned by one man. Google is your friend.

  21. Avatar

    Prasert

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    The old adage “Garbage in, Garbage out” comes to mind

  22. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    I never cease to be amazed at how “low” Thais will go when buying something new.

    A vaccine that is 50.4% effective.

    Unless it’s free, it isn’t worth the money. And 50% isn’t going to reign in the outbreak.

    The government is demonstrating at every opportunity, how useless and inept they are.

  23. Avatar

    BJoe

    Friday, May 7, 2021 at 6:20 am

    So like the junta to order the cheap, less effective stuff from the CCP, while still contemplating approval for Pfizer,, Johnson and Johnson, and Moderna vaccines.

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

3 organisers of Phuket’s Kolour superspreader event charged

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: 3 managers involved in the Kolour superspreader event have been charged.

As Thailand still wrestles to control the third wave of Covid-19, much of which stems from entertainment venues in Bangkok and a massive party in Phuket, Patong police announced that the managers of the Phuket venues that hosted the Kolour superspreader event will be charged under the Emergency Decree. The case report was filed with the public prosecutor yesterday according to the Patong police chief, confirming that 3 people will be prosecuted for the event.

The Kolour Beachside Festival was held April 2 and 3 with events at Café Del Mar Phuket in Kamala, and Shelter Phuket Dance and Night Club and Illuzion Nightclub, both in Patong. Before the festival, Phuket had gone more than a hundred days without any new Covid-19 infections, but by April 7 the Phuket provincial Public Health office announced 8 new infections, half of which had been at the Kolour parties. In the following weeks, officials plead for attendees to be tested as infections spread.

Charges were delayed in being filed to the Phuket Public Prosecutor’s office as a special investigation committee was ordered to be created to oversee the investigation at the request of Region 8’s Police Commander. That committee brought together officials from various law enforcement in the area including the Patong Police, Kamala Police, Phuket Provincial Police, and the Region 8 Police to investigate the Kolour event before anyone was charged.

The manager of Café Del Mar, along with the managing director and the manager of Shelter and Illuzion, which are under the same management team, will be charged for the Kolour festival violating Thailand’s Emergency Decree that was declared to help protect the country from Covid-19 outbreaks. A breach of the Emergency Decree can be held liable for up to 40,000 Baht and 2 years in jail under Section 9 of the Decree.

The latter 2 are also facing charges of operating an unlicensed entertainment venue. This carries the possibility of another year in prison and a fine of up to 60,000 baht, in accordance with Thai Law under Section 26 of the Entertainment Place Act.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 patients with high blood pressure at high risk of death -CCSA

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo via Bumrungrad Hospital

Covid-19 patients with high blood pressure have the highest risk of death followed by patients infected with the coronavirus who underlying conditions of diabetes or high cholesterol, according to data from Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported 486 coronavirus-related deaths. Out of those fatalities, 392 were reported after April 1. Using data from the recent wave of infections, the CCSA found that those infected with Covid-19 who also have high blood pressure are at the most at risk of death, followed by those who are diabetic and those who have high cholesterol.

Others who are at risk of severe infection or death if infected with Covid-19 include those with chronic kidney disease, heart disease, obesity or lung disease.

Most of the deaths since April 1 have been in Bangkok, making up 46% of the death count in the recent wave, followed and provinces just outside the capital. Most patients who died while infected with Covid-19 have been over 60 years old with underlying health conditions. Several young adults, in their 20s and 30s, who died while infected with Covid-19, had underlying conditions of diabetes and obesity.

Covid-19 patients with high blood pressure at high risk of death -CCSA | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: PR Thai Government

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Human Right Watch calls for Thailand to immediately act on Covid-19 outbreaks at prisons

Tanutam Thawan

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Chiang Mai prison / Photo via Department of Corrections ประชาสัมพันธ์ กรมราชทัณฑ์

In response to the recent Covid-19 outbreaks in Thailand prisons, the Human Rights Watch issued a statement saying Thai authorities need to take immediate steps to tackle overcrowding in prisons and release inmates that do not pose a serious risk to the public. The organisation also notes that under international human rights law, the government must provide equal and accessible health care to the inmates, adding that Thailand must act quickly to ensure the infected prisoners are properly treated.

Yesterday, Thailand’s Department of Corrections reported 2,835 inmates at 2 Bangkok prisons tested positive for Covid-19, adding to the hundreds of cases at prisons in Chiang Mai and in the southern province Narathiwat by the Malaysia border. Out of the new cases, 1,795 at Bangkok Remand Prison, making up more than half the prison population. The other 1,040 infections are inmates at the Central Women’s Correctional Institution.

HRW says those held in Thailand’s overcrowded prisons are at “grave risk” of Covid-19. After the outbreak in Narathiwat in early April, prison visits were suspended to prevent the spread of Covid-19. HRW Asia director Brad Adams says authorities had been warned about the situation.

“Many people warned the Thai authorities that they needed to act proactively to avoid such a situation, but it seems they got caught sleeping at the switch.”

Under international law, the Thai government is obligated to provide adequate healthcare to prisoners, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, Brad says. He adds that to prevent the spread of Covid-19, some prisoners should be released to reduce overcrowding and congestion.

“Besides providing health care and virus testing, the authorities should reduce the detainee population through the supervised release of those held on politically motivated charges or for minor offences, or who face greater risk from underlying health conditions.”

HRW says Thailand should take immediate steps to tackle the longstanding problem of overcrowding in prisons and consider the supervised release of inmates who at a high risk of severe infection if they were to contract Covid-19. Those charged with minor offences or who are in pre-trial detention for minor, nonviolent crimes should also be considered for release, HRW says.

SOURCE: HRW

 

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