With COVID-19 getting real and Thailand’s vaccine supply still months away, the prime minister today said that help could be on the way.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha announced today that Thailand is in negotiations to acquire millions of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses as it awaits production of its own domestic supply of AstraZeneca.
He said the National Vaccine Institute is talking to the British government about purchasing 5 million to 10 million doses of the premium mRNA vaccine, which is proven to be over 90% effective. The final quantity would depend on the terms of the deal. He did not disclose how much would be spent to secure the supply.
They would supplement the AstraZeneca to be manufactured by royal-owned Siam Bioscience, which is now expected to release its first batch of 4 million to 6 million doses in June.
While the two-dose vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech has emerged as the most-coveted in the vaccine hierarchy, those developed by AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and even China’s SinoVac are all highly effective and near universal in protecting people against serious illness.
Extremely rare incidences of blood clots that could possibly link to the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines are still being studied.
Sinovac has accounted for almost all of the 2.1 million doses Thailand has imported so far, enough supply for roughly 1 million people, or about 2% of the adult-age population.
The majority of people will still have to wait for June or later for the production of 61 million AstraZeneca doses for mass vaccination.
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