The Department of Disease Control (DDC) says it has reached a deal with the AstraZeneca company to procure one million more doses of AZ vaccine over the next month.
Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, its chief, said there is a good sign that the company will send more vaccines to the department, as talks had gone well.
Usually, it sends around five to six million doses of vaccine based on a monthly average.
Therefore, around 7.2 million doses are likely to be delivered next month.
Dr Karnkawinpong said the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has approved the provision of 120 million doses of vaccines for next year from various producers, including 50 million doses from AstraZeneca and 50 million doses from Pfizer.
He also said the COVID-19 vaccines for next year will mainly be used as a third shot booster vaccine for those who received two shots of Sinovac. Those vaccines also will be available for children as many studies have found that it is safe for them to get the jab.
Most vaccinated people in the country are two-dose Sinovac recipients, who are likely to need a booster vaccine because their immunity will drop with time. Medical staff will be the first priority group to get AstraZeneca or Pfizer as a booster vaccine, he said.
Meanwhile, Sophon Iamthavorn, the department’s deputy chief, said the number of new daily case infections is unlikely to increase, judging from the unchanged rate of new infections in the capital and its vicinity. Many provinces, such as Chon Buri and Ayutthaya and Saraburi, have also seen falling infections, he said. The number of recoveries is also starting to exceed new cases.
Dr Iamthavorn said the Sinovac vaccine has been proven to prevent severe illness and death by 72%, as it was found the number of deaths involving people who have been vaccinated is 4.4:1,000,000, much lower than 140:1,000,000 cases of deaths involving people who are unvaccinated.
A total of 261 COVID-19 fatalities and 20,571 cases were reported over the past 24 hours, the Public Health Ministry reported yesterday. There have been 1,001,418 COVID-19 patients and 8,993 deaths since the third wave of COVID-19 began on 1st April.