Thailand orders additional 35 mil doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha Photo: Chaiwat Subprasom/SOPA Images via ZUMA Wire/dpa

By LINDA KHOO

BANGKOK, Jan 5  -- Thailand has ordered an additional 35 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, bringing its total vaccine procurement from British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant to 61 million doses.

Prime Minister, Prayuth Chan o-cha said the government has secured 26 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca in November. 

“We made an additional order for 35 million doses today.

“We aim to have at least 50 per cent of the population vaccinated,” he said at a press conference after chairing a weekly cabinet meeting today.

Thai biopharmaceutical company, Siam Bioscience will be producing COVID-19 vaccine using formula and technology developed by AstraZeneca Plc, with its first batch to be ready by May.


Photo: Chaiwat Subprasom/SOPA Images via ZUMA Wire/dpa

Bangkok-based Siam Bioscience is set to produce 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in a year. The vaccine is set to be submitted for approval with Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by April.

Prayuth said the government had allocated 1.3 billion baht to procure 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s pharmaceutical company, Sinovac Biotech Ltd.

The first shipment – 200,000 doses are expected to arrive by end of February and 800,000 doses by end of March and 1 million doses by end of April.

Meanwhile, Thailand recorded 527 new COVID-19 cases and zero fatalities, over the last 24 hours, bringing the tally in the kingdom to 8,966 cases and 65 fatalities to date.

Of the 527 new cases, 521 were local transmissions – 439 migrant workers following active case detection and 82 Thai nationals, while six were imported cases.

To date, a total of 2,536 cases detected in Samut Sakhon province where the current outbreak started in mid-December and about 71 per cent are Myanmar migrant workers.

Meanwhile, Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman Thaweesilp Wissanuyothin said stringent measures will be taken at five provinces namely Samut Sakhon, Chonburi, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat amid a surge in infections in these provinces.

He said high-risk venues and businesses would be closed, screenings increased and the people are advised to avoid inter-provincial travelling to curb the spread of COVID-19 in these five ‘most controlled’ provinces.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Sheikhul Islam of Thailand has announced a ban on congregational Friday prayers in the five provinces.

In a statement, it said Muslims in other provinces in the kingdom are allowed to performed Friday prayers but must strictly follow guidelines including wearing face masks, observe physical distancing and must use hand sanitisers before entering the mosque.

-- BERNAMA






HealthEdge


EXCLUSIVE

Vivantis Technologies Elevates COVID-19 Testing Capacity In Malaysia

By Nadia Jumri

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – The world has been battling COVID-19 for close to a year now, with more than 200 countries and territories affected by the pandemic.

In Malaysia, the third wave of infections led to total case numbers spiking to over 75,000. Globally, the virus has infected more than 68 million people and caused over 1.5 million fatalities.

Due to the virus’ highly virulent nature, producing COVID-19 test kits has become a top priority for certain biotechnology companies focusing on research and development (R&D) in Malaysia.

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