Business group orders 100,000 Sinovac shots

Business group orders 100,000 Sinovac shots

A health official from Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's mobile unit gives a woman a shot of Covid-19 vaccine at a market in a high-risk area in Bang Khae district in Bangkok on Wednesday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
A health official from Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's mobile unit gives a woman a shot of Covid-19 vaccine at a market in a high-risk area in Bang Khae district in Bangkok on Wednesday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) says it will procure 100,000 doses of China's Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to be used and paid for by businesses in the first phase of a private sector vaccination scheme.

Other Southeast Asian countries including Indonesia and the Philippines have also launched private schemes, which proponents say will help kickstart key industries and cut the state burden, though some health experts warn that workers could be prioritised over more vulnerable sections of the population.

"The Government Pharmaceutical Organization has confirmed our order," Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree told reporters, adding that the vaccine costing 1,000 baht per dose should be administered in June.

About 50,000 individuals in 109 companies, mostly in the food and drug sectors, are joining the scheme after an initial survey, FTI's deputy secretary-general, Panitarn Pavarolavidya, said.

"This batch is not related to the government's batch for the public. We're in line for the next lot for vaccinations," Mr Panitarn said.

The second phase of its mass vaccination drive is slated for June after the first delivery of the locally produced AstraZeneca vaccine as part of a drive to inoculate half of the country's population of 66.2 million by year's end.

The country has so far received 200,000 doses of the Sinovac Biotech CoronaVac vaccine and 117,300 doses from AstraZeneca.

On Monday, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha became the first person to be inoculated with the imported AstraZeneca shots and so far 53,842 people have been vaccinated .

Another 800,000 doses of CoronaVac are expected to arrive on March 20 and a further 1 million doses in April.

Thailand has reported 27,494 Covid-19 infections and 89 fatalities.

Health Minister Anutin Charnvirankul said this week that Thailand was in discussions to procure an additional 5 million doses of CoronaVac.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (35)

Thong Lor police chief, deputy transferred over Covid cluster

Two top officers at the Thong Lor police station in Bangkok have been transferred to inactive posts at the operations centre of the Metropolitan Police Division 5 headquarters after Thailand's third wave of Covid-19 apparently spread from entertainment venues in an area under their jurisdiction.

17:10

Iran blames Israel for attack on Natanz nuclear site, vows revenge

TEHRAN: Iran charged on Monday that its arch-enemy Israel was "of course" behind an attack on its main nuclear site, the Natanz uranium enrichment plant, and vowed "revenge... in due time".

16:45

Myanmar's Suu Kyi hit with new criminal charge

YANGON: Myanmar's ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi was hit with a fresh criminal charge on Monday, as the junta's tough crackdown on dissent rolls on.

16:17