Kingdom receives 500K Sinovac vaccine doses
Thailand yesterday received another 500,000 doses of Sinovac's Covid-19 vaccine, with 2 million antiviral Favipiravir pills scheduled to arrive on Monday.
Traisuree Taisaranakul, deputy spokesman for the government, said the country had already received 2.5 million Sinovac vaccine doses, including the recent batch of 500,000 doses, before this latest shipment.
She said Sinovac Biotech would send an additional shipment of 1 million doses to Thailand in the middle of next month. When combined, Thailand would have 3.5 million Sinovac doses, Ms Traisuree said.
She said Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul had ordered a speedy vaccination drive and a sufficient supply of medication to treat Covid-19 patients.
The 2 million Favipiravir pills that will arrive on Monday will be distributed to hospitals, she said.
As of Friday, over 964,000 people in 77 provinces had been inoculated, 834,000 of whom received their first doses, she said.
The new batch of Sinovac vaccine scheduled to arrive on Monday is to be inspected by the Department of Medical Sciences first before being sent to the Department of Disease Control for distribution, Ms Traisuree said.
The vaccine will be given to people aged 18–29 in the first target groups, Ms Traisuree said. The government is planning to secure 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for 50 million people by the end of this year, she added.
Thailand will seek to purchase about 35 million more doses of Covid-19 vaccines from two or three other producers, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said in a Facebook post last week.
Ten million to 15 million doses will reportedly be bought by the private sector for their employees, and the Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade of Thailand will likely lead the drive.
Paisal Dunkhum, secretary-general of the Food and Drug Administration, yesterday said he approved Siam Bioscience as the manufacturer of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Thailand.
So far, Thailand has approved the use of vaccines from Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
Regarding a plan to purchase Covid-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer, Mr Paisal said the Thai FDA could approve the use of the vaccine one month after it is registered.