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COVID-19 - New Year Present - Vaccines coming to Thailand!

Updated: Apr 13, 2021

Ben Kiatkwankul

The Ministry of Public Health announced on January 3, 2021 that the production of AstraZeneca-University of Oxford vaccines for Coronavirus 2019 has commenced. The local production from technology transfer is carried out by a Thai biomedical technology company, Siam Biosciences, and is expected to roll out its first batch in May.

The first production yields at 26 million doses. Siam Bioscience has been preparing to produce up to 200 million doses annually, or at least 15-20 million per month.

Thailand is also expecting 2 million doses from Sinovac, a Chinese manufacturer, to be delivered in 3 batches – 200,000 in February, 800,000 in March, and the remaining 1 million in April. Sinovac’s "CoronaVac" has yet to pass the Phase 3 clinical research test.

The government promises to deliver vaccination to cover at least 50% of the Thai population by the end of this year.

It is not established officially as to who will be prioritized to receive the vaccines. Dr. Yong Poovorawan, a medical professor in paediatric hepatology at the Faculty of Medicine of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, however claims that the vulnerable groups, such as elderly, those with congenital diseases, and medical personnel as well as front-line COVID-19 combatants should get the vaccine first.

As Thailand was bidding farewell to 2020, the fear of COVID-19 came back with number of new cases went over 1,000 in Samut Sakhon province alone. The province is known as a seafood hub as well as canned food factories where large proportion of migrant labors are employed.

Thailand greeted the first work day with “new wave” of COVID-19 outbreak with the number of patients doubled since mid-December, 2020 – approx. 4,200 to 8,500.

Breaking - Jan 6:

- Hong Kong-listed Sino Biopharmaceutical, a subsidiary under Thailand's CP Pharmaceutical Group is set to buy 15% stake in Sinovac Life Sciences, the producer of Sinovac vaccine

- January 5th's cabinet resolution seeks 36 million more doses from AstraZeneca, making a total of 64 million doses to be available to Thai residents

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