The cabinet has approved the signing of a supply agreement for 20 million doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine and the purchase of another 10.9 million doses of the Sinovac Biotech vaccine.
For the Pfizer shots, the budget was not revealed. For the Sinovac vaccine, PM spokesman Anucha Burapachasri said after the meeting that it would not exceed 6.1 billion baht and the budget would come from borrowings under an executive decree.
Also at the meeting, the cabinet allowed the Government Pharmaceutical Organization to buy the Moderna vaccine from Zuellig Pharma Ltd on behalf of private hospitals.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said before the meeting that some vaccine purchase agreements require non-disclosure since the terms and prices were different for each country.
The Pfizer vaccine to be ordered soon will unlikely be the first lot of it to be shipped to Thailand. Some officials of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) had said earlier that 1.5 million doses donated by the United States would arrive this month and next month.
Udom Kachintorn, an adviser to the CCSA, said in the morning that mRNA vaccines — Pfizer and Moderna — or AstraZeneca, which is the viral vector type, would be used on some 700,0000 health workers as a booster shot after this group had been fully vaccinated with the Sinovac vaccine earlier.
The next group to receive it would be those at risk — the elderly or those with seven underlying conditions.
“The priority is to give a booster shot to some 700,000 fully vaccinated medical workers, who received their second shots 3-4 months ago. The booster shot could be Pfizer — if it arrives in time — or AstraZeneca,” Dr Udom said.
He added a local study on eight people showed a person who had been severely allergic to the Sinovac vaccine after the first shot and got AstraZeneca as the second shot developed antibodies eight times those who got two Sinovac shots.
Dr Udom said mRNA would definitely become the primary platform in the future.
He added a working group had been assigned to monitor the new generation of vaccines likely to come out early next year. The CCSA is also considering multiple platform vaccination — shots of different types in the same regimen.