Thailand 'on track' to use Sinovac vaccine, despite trial data

Thailand 'on track' to use Sinovac vaccine, despite trial data

A health worker checks containers of Covid-19 vaccine produced by China's Sinovac as they arrived in Surabaya on Wednesday, as the sprawling archipelago of nearly 270 million kicks off a mass innoculation drive in a bid to control soaring case rates. (AFP photo)
A health worker checks containers of Covid-19 vaccine produced by China's Sinovac as they arrived in Surabaya on Wednesday, as the sprawling archipelago of nearly 270 million kicks off a mass innoculation drive in a bid to control soaring case rates. (AFP photo)

The government on Wednesday said it was still on track to receive and administer a coronavirus vaccine by China's Sinovac Biotech starting next month, despite data from a Brazil trial that showed 50.4% efficiency, health officials said.

"There is no impact on our plan right now," Supakit Sirilak, Director-General of Medical Science Department, told a briefing when asked about Brazil's data.

"We are asking for information directly from Sinovac, so we are waiting for their response to get all the facts," he said.

The government, which has reported a total of 10,991 infections and 67 fatalities since it detected its first case a year ago, has ordered 2 million doses of Sinovac's CoronaVac and expects to receive the first 200,000 doses next month.

It has also ordered 61 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which will be produced by local firm, Siam Bioscience for domestic use and export.

The Brazil trial findings came just as Indonesia started a massive coronavirus vaccination campaign, with its president the first to be inoculated with CoronaVac.

Malaysia on Wednesday said it would only go ahead with procurement of Sinovac's vaccine if it satisfies the safety and efficacy standards of local regulators.

Thailand's Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday said it was assessing all vaccines based on quality, safety and efficiency.

"The companies requesting approval must provide information that addresses all these points," FDA Deputy Secretary-General Surachoke Tangwiwat said.

The government received requests on Tuesday for vaccine registration from AstraZeneca and Sinovac. 

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