The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) is teaming up with local logistics firm DKSH to deliver COVID-19 vaccines that are due to arrive next week.
On Friday, GPO and DKSH, one of the country’s largest distribution and logistics companies for medical products, signed an agreement on the storage, repacking and distribution of the Sinovac vaccine from China.
The first shipment of 200,000 doses is expected to arrive on Wednesday, followed by 800,000 in March and a million in April.
The first batch will be used across 10 provinces – Samut Sakhon, Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Rayong, Chon Buri, Chanthaburi, Trat and Tak. Each person needs two doses, two weeks apart.
“The delivery will be done as soon as the Department of Medical Sciences has completed quality checks that might take around one week,” said the GPO’s managing director, Dr Withoon Danwiboon.
“The GPO will provide the company with a list of places to send the vaccine and all deliveries will be made, even if they are in remote areas.”
He said the GPO chose DKSH because it offered free delivery for two million shots to all state hospitals countrywide.
The first 200,000 shots will be stored at the company’s warehouse in Bangkok’s Bang Na district.
Custom officials, officials from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and GPO officials will work together to clear vaccine shipments arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport.
The process is expected to take about 30 minutes and vaccine packages will then be moved to DKSH’s warehouse 20 kilometres away.
The vaccines will be stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius to preserve its efficacy.
The Ministry of Public Health is aiming to vaccinate five million people with two doses each month and that would be an unprecedented challenge, said Dr Sopon Mekthon, assistant to the public health minister.