AstraZeneca delivered 1.8 million locally produced COVID-19 vaccine doses to the Ministry of Public Health yesterday, the first of six million scheduled for delivery this month.
The doses were received during a ceremony led by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and other senior officials.
AstraZeneca (Thailand) said it started receiving deliveries from its authorised producer Siam Bioscience on Wednesday.
James Teague, AstraZeneca’s country president, said the delivery was significant and marked the start of a sustainable supply of the vaccine in Thailand.
The company would be able to supply the vaccine as scheduled in Thailand, and begin shipments to other ASEAN countries in July, he said.
The vaccine produced by Siam Bioscience was absolutely in line with quality standards, as confirmed by lab tests in the US, UK and Thailand, he said.
“We are confident that production is on track. And we have worked closely with the Department of Disease Control in updating the amount of production per week,” he said.
However, he refused to say how many doses Siam Bioscience would deliver each month.
Mr Charnvirakul welcomed the delivery, which he said was on schedule.
“AstraZeneca is our great partner and it helped us with the vaccine management plan,” he said. “Vaccination is the key to stopping the outbreak, to rehabilitating our economy and returning normal life to the people.”
The ministry plans to distribute the 1.8 million doses countrywide. Each province had earlier received 3,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Additional allocations will be made as the ministry receives more vaccine from the company, Mr Charnvirakul said.
Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was delighted to hear about the delivery of locally produced AstraZeneca vaccine doses.
“We are confident Thailand will have sufficient vaccine supply to start the mass vaccination campaign on 7th June,” he said. “Everyone who has already registered via the Mor Prom app will get the vaccine.”