AstraZeneca delays 61m doses

AstraZeneca delays 61m doses

A health worker administers Covid-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca at the Bang Sue Grand Station in Bangkok last month. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
A health worker administers Covid-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca at the Bang Sue Grand Station in Bangkok last month. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

AstraZeneca has asked Thailand to extend the timeline for the delivery of 61 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine until May next year.

The move is expected to disrupt the country's already-slow vaccine rollout further.

In an interview with the Bangkok Post, Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha said the delivery timeline originally scheduled for the end of this year looks like it will be delayed until May next year.

If any country that has placed orders for AstraZeneca vaccines is able to procure vaccines from other manufacturers first, the government will negotiate with the company to deliver the vaccines to Thailand instead, Mr Sathit said.

He added the company will deliver one-third of its output to Thailand.

Under the original vaccine plan, the AstraZeneca vaccines, made by local manufacturer Siam Bioscience, would provide the government with 10 million doses of the vaccine each month from July until the end of the year.

But the government recently admitted the company can supply Thailand only 5-6 million doses a month, or one third of its total supply, while the rest will be exported.

"The Department of Disease Control (DDC) will sign a contract on July 16 with Pfizer to procure 20 million doses. The Government Pharmaceutical Organization will also sign a deal with Moderna for five million doses next week," Mr Sathit said.

"All will be delivered in October. This will be the vaccine rollout planned for next year," he added.

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  • admitted (verb): agreed that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it - ยอมรับ
  • disrupt: to prevent something from continuing as usual or as expected - ทำให้ยุ่งเหยิง, ทำให้ยุ่งยาก
  • export: to sell and/or send goods to another country - ส่งออก
  • negotiate: to try to reach an agreement by discussing something in a formal way - เจรจาต่อรอง
  • procure: to buy supplies or equipment for a government department or company - จัดซื้อวัสดุ เครื่องมือสำหรับบริษัท หรือหน่วยงานของรัฐ
  • roll-out (noun): an occasion when a company introduces or starts to use a new product - การนำ(สินค้า ฯลฯ) ออกส่สายตาประชาชนเป็นครั้งแรก
  • scheduled: planned to happen at a particular time or day - ตามตารางเวลา
  • supply (noun): an amount or quantity of something that is available to buy or use - อุปทาน
  • third (noun): one third; 1/3 - เศษหนึ่งส่วนสาม, 1/3
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