Thai people will get their first shots of a Covid-19 vaccine by mid-2021 at the earliest.
The vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford will be produced locally by Siam Bioscience Group, located in Pathum Thani.
Dr Nakhon Premsri, director of the National Vaccine Institute (NVI), told media on Tuesday he was confident that the British pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca will get vaccine approval soon from the United Kingdom's Food and Drug Administration after the announcement about the vaccine was made early this week.
"If the vaccine gets approval from the Thai FDA, we will start our production for the public by the middle of next year. We are confident that the vaccine made by AstraZeneca will shortly get approval from the UK-based FDA, as it has a high efficacy rate of 70% that is higher than the WHO's requirement of 50%," he said.
About 3,000 people were given a half dose and then a full dose four weeks later, with data showing 90% were protected. In the larger group, given two full doses also four weeks apart, the efficacy was 62%.
The Thai Department of Disease Control (DDC) says that it requires two million doses per month from the Pathum Thani plant, which can, at full capacity, produce 15 million doses per month.
Dr Opas Kankawinphong, acting director of the DDC, said that the government would spend 3.7 billion baht to prepare for the vaccine's transportation and storage, and its monitoring system as well as on a campaign to raise public awareness about how to get the vaccine.
He said the Covid-19 vaccine will be the most extensive vaccination programme ever in Thailand.
"Giving 26 million doses of vaccine to over 13 million people is unprecedented in Thailand. So we need to make everything work, especially when it comes to creating awareness among the public," he said.
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approval : agreement to do or accept something - ความเห็นชอบด้วย
awareness : the state of knowing about something - การรับรู้, การทราบ
campaign : a series of actions intended to produce political or social change - การรณรงค์
confident : being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future - มั่นใจ
dose : an amount of drug that has been measured so that you can take it - ปริมาณยาที่ให้ต่อครั้ง
efficacy (noun): the ability of something to produce the results that are wanted ความมี - ประสิทธิภาพ, ความสามารถ, สมรรถภาพ
extensive : great in amount; covering a large area - กว้างขวาง
Food and Drug Administration (noun): The Thai government agency responsible for protecting consumer,s health, especially, to ensure safety, quality and effectiveness of health products - สำนักงานคณะกรรมการอาหารและยา
pharmaceutical : connected with the production of medicines - เกี่ยวกับเภสัชกรรม, เกี่ยวกับยา
plant : a factory; a factory that produces power or processes chemicals, etc. - โรงงาน
unprecedented : never having happened before - ที่ไม่เคยเกิดขึ้นมาก่อน
vaccine : a substance which contains a form that is not harmful of a virus and which is given to a person or animal to prevent them from getting the disease which the virus causes - วัคซีน