Govt expects 140 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines this year

Govt expects 140 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines this year

In this handout photo taken on June 5, 2021 and released on June 9 by Thai Airways, airport personnel handle the shipment of 500,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines for the Covid-19 coronavirus from China on arrival at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok. (AFP PHOTO / THAI AIRWAYS)
In this handout photo taken on June 5, 2021 and released on June 9 by Thai Airways, airport personnel handle the shipment of 500,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines for the Covid-19 coronavirus from China on arrival at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok. (AFP PHOTO / THAI AIRWAYS)

As many as 140 million doses of coronavirus vaccines are expected this year as the country ramps up inoculation to fight its biggest wave of infections, which shows some signs of easing, a government spokesman said on Sunday.

The country is struggling to tackle the highly transmissible Delta variant of the virus, which has seen a record infections of over 23,000 earlier this month. On Sunday, the government announced another 16,536 new cases and 264 deaths.

While new cases remain high, they are likely to decline further, Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said in a statement.

With new cases slowing, the government on Friday announced it will ease some of the strictest containment measures in Bangkok and other 28 high-risk provinces, allowing more travel, and malls and restaurants to reopen from Sept 1, to help revive the flagging economy battered by the outbreak.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand is expected to soon issue a statement on the resumption of local flights to and from those areas as well as outbreak control measures.

However, airlines, including Thai Air Asia and Bangkok Airways, have already announced the resumption of some local flights from next week.

The country started its mass vaccination drive in June, but so far only about 11% of the more than 66 million population has been fully vaccinated. 

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