Thailand to buy 35m more doses of Covid-19 vaccine

Thailand to buy 35m more doses of Covid-19 vaccine

A resident of Bang Khae in Bangkok is vaccinated on April 12, 2021, after the district became the hot spot of a Covid-19 spike. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
A resident of Bang Khae in Bangkok is vaccinated on April 12, 2021, after the district became the hot spot of a Covid-19 spike. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Thailand will seek to buy about 35 million more doses of Covid-19 vaccine from two or three other producers, in addition to the acquisition of 65 million doses already underway, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

Gen Prayut cited a report from the committee for the acquisition of Covid-19 vaccines, which comprises representatives from the Ministry of Public Health, the Government Pharmarceutical Organisation, the Food and Drug Administration and the Private Hospital Association.

The committee is chaired by Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, adviser to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

He said the committee had decided Thailand should buy about 35 million more doses of vaccine from two or three other manufacturers. This would be in addition to the government's purchase of 65 million doses from two manufacturers, AstraZeneca and Sinovac Biotech.

"Of the 35 million doses, 10-15 million will be be bought by the private sector for their employees. This will save the government money.

"The next step is for the various agencies to urgently implement the plans, acting within the  law. I have issued an order for the vaccines to all be distributed by the end of 2021," the  prime minister said.

On Wednesday afternoon, Gen Prayut was scheduled to visit a field hospital for Covid-19 patients in Nong Chok district. It is the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's fourth field hospital with 400 beds - 150 for men and 250 for women. The hospital opened on April 19.

Reporters were not allowed to cover the visit, banned by social distancing rules.

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