Govt secures 2m early Covid vaccine doses

Govt secures 2m early Covid vaccine doses

Anutin: Talks underway
Anutin: Talks underway

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said yesterday he had secured the supply of at least 2 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine for "between February and April".

He said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had on Wednesday directed him to discuss procurement with various producers so as to speedily acquire vaccines to help cope with the outbreak.

"Efforts and negotiations with vaccine producers mean that between February and April 2021, at least two million doses of the vaccine will be delivered to Thailand," Mr Anutin wrote on his Facebook account.

He added he had delivered the news to Gen Prayut, who had promised full budgetary support for the procurement, and the vaccine would first be distributed to at-risk people.

He did not name the vaccine he had secured. Nor is it known how long long the roll-out will take.

The government earlier signed an advance agreement with AstraZeneca for 26 million doses and the right to produce its Covid-19 vaccine in Thailand, but supplies are not expected before May.

After a virtual meeting with permanent secretary of public health Kiatiphum Wongrajit and the ministry's director-generals, Mr Anutin said yesterday he had been negotiating with vaccine producers to expedite supplies to Thailand.

He is also negotiating with AstraZeneca to buy a further 26 million doses, he said.

The minister has also asked the FDA and various agencies to expedite the process of allowing the vaccines to be used in Thailand.

Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said yesterday that ministers were in talks with many partner companies.

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