China 'ready to export' Sinovac Biotech jabs, PM told

China 'ready to export' Sinovac Biotech jabs, PM told

Acting Chinese Ambassador Yang Xin pays a courtesy call on PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to extend his best wishes for Chinese New Year. Government House photo
Acting Chinese Ambassador Yang Xin pays a courtesy call on PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to extend his best wishes for Chinese New Year. Government House photo

China has informed Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha that it is preparing to export its Covid-19 vaccine to Thailand, government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said on Monday.

The premier was informed by Acting Chinese Ambassador to Thailand Yang Xin that the vaccines manufactured by Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech have been approved for exports and that the doses will be delivered "as soon as possible".

The announcement followed recent media reports which said China's drug regulators have given Sinovac's Covid-19 vaccine conditional market approval.

Mr Anucha said the update was relayed by Mr Yang during a courtesy call with Gen Prayut, in which the premier extended his well-wishes for the upcoming Chinese New Year holidays.

Gen Prayut told Mr Yang that Thailand is committed to securing the doses it needs to ensure the national vaccination programme -- in which the government plans to inoculate at least 50% of the population -- runs smoothly.

To date, the government has purchased 26 million doses from the UK-based AstraZeneca and two million doses from China's Sinovac. Recently, the government reserved an additional 35 million doses from AstraZeneca.

Mr Anucha said the prime minister congratulated China on its Covid-19 response and reaffirmed the country's readiness to work with Beijing on economic and social rehabilitation.

Mr Yang told the prime minister that Thai-Chinese relations have continued to grow despite the Covid-19 pandemic, reflecting the sustainability of ties between the two nations.

According to Mr Anucha, both sides also agreed to pursue deeper economic cooperation especially on e-commerce and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project.

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