Thailand: Vaccines ‘to arrive in Feb 21’ as planned

  • The Ministry of Public Health on 3 Feb 21 expressed its confidence that two Covid-19 vaccines from the UK and China would arrive later in Feb 21 as scheduled, despite warning signs to the contrary, especially the EU’s order to suspend AstraZeneca’s vaccine shipments outside its territory.
  • The ministry has hastened its original plan to receive the vaccine by the middle of the Feb 21 following a massive virus outbreak among migrant workers in Samut Sakhon province in Dec 20, which has led to more than 10,000 infections in that one province alone.
  • It ordered 200,000 additional doses from AstraZeneca, of which the first 50,000 are expected to arrive later in Feb 21. The first jabs are expected to go to medical staff and people in at-risk groups in the provinces and other high-risk places, including Bangkok.
  • Kiattiphum Wongrajit, the ministry’s permanent secretary, said the National Vaccine Institute was working to get the first shipments in Feb 21, adding it had placed an order before the EU’s announcement to suspend vaccine shipments was made.
  • He also insisted the country would also get the vaccine made by the Chinese private-owned company Sinovac later in Feb 21, even though it had not yet received safety approval from the Chinese Food and Drug Administration.

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