Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said on Monday that China has informed Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha that it is preparing to export its COVID-19 vaccine to Thailand.
The premier was informed by Acting Chinese Ambassador to Thailand Yang Xin that the vaccines manufactured by Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech have been approved for exports and that the doses will be delivered “as soon as possible”.
The announcement followed recent media reports which said China’s drug regulators have given Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine conditional market approval.
Mr Burapachaisri said the update was relayed by Mr Xin during a courtesy call with Gen Chan-o-cha, in which the premier extended his well-wishes for the upcoming Chinese New Year holidays.
Gen Chan-o-cha told Mr Xin that Thailand is committed to securing the doses it needs to ensure the national vaccination programme, in which the government plans to inoculate at least 50% of the population, runs smoothly.
To date, the government has purchased 26 million doses from the UK-based AstraZeneca and two million doses from China’s Sinovac. Recently, the government reserved an additional 35 million doses from AstraZeneca.
Mr Burapachaisri said the prime minister congratulated China on its COVID-19 response and reaffirmed the country’s readiness to work with Beijing on economic and social rehabilitation.
Mr Xin told the prime minister that Thai-Chinese relations have continued to grow despite the COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting the sustainability of ties between the two nations.
According to Mr Burapachaisri, both sides also agreed to pursue deeper economic cooperation especially on e-commerce and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project.