Half of Thailand’s population will receive an injection of the Covid-19 vaccine once it is released and available to the public, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said. The University of Oxford and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca are researching the new vaccine. Thailand is expected to be Southeast Asia’s production site for the new vaccine.
The health minister said the vaccine would first be used on Thai nationals in their mid-60s and then the ministry would ensure at least 50% of the population received the vaccine.
The Department of Public Health is also going through the World Health Organization’s COVAX facility to ensure there is an adequate supply of vaccine. The deputy permanent secretary of the ministry, Supakit Sirilak, said that around 65 million doses will be needed for Thailand, adding that 40% will be reserved for COVAX, 40% will go to AstraZeneca and 20% will go to other sources.
Siam Bioscience will produce the vaccine in Thailand. National Vaccine Institute director Nakorn Premsri says they have the potential to produce up to 200 million doses. Production is expected to start in mid-2021.
“Once the technology transfer agreement is signed, the Thai side will need to be trained on the production process. AstraZeneca’s vaccine is expected to pass Phase 3 testing and production is expected to begin in December. After that, it has to register with the FDA in the UK and Thailand, before it can start producing the vaccine in the middle of next year. “
THE SOURCE: Nation Thailand
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