The government has signed a supply agreement for 20 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, three months after it said it would buy them. The delivery is expected in the fourth quarter of this year though the value of the deal was not disclosed.
Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, yesterday signed the agreement with Deborah Seifert, Country Manager of Pfizer (Thailand) Ltd and Indochina.
Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, his deputy Sathit Pitutecha, and public health permanent secretary Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit witnessed the signing ceremony at the Public Health Ministry in Nonthaburi.
“We are thrilled to have signed this important agreement with the Thai government as part of our shared commitment to be part of the country’s efforts to drive down COVID-19 infections. This agreement reaffirms Pfizer’s commitment to deliver on our promise to provide the public with safe and effective vaccines against this virus as well as to expand equitable access to our Covid-19 vaccine across the world, said Ms Seifert.
Mr Charnvirakul said Thailand had worked closely with Pfizer Co over the past three months. According to reports, Thailand decided to buy it in late April.
Dr Karnkawinpong said 1.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine donated by the US would reach the country on 29th July. According to the US Embassy Bangkok’s Facebook page, the batch is worth US$30 million (around 984 million baht).
“This donation, and the millions of doses the United States is providing to neighbouring countries, will help Thailand and the region accelerate their vaccination campaigns, keep their populations safe, and ensure that their economies can recover quickly,” read the post.
Dr Karnkawinpong said this donated vaccine would be administered to frontline medical personnel and health workers as a booster dose, elderly people and those with seven underlying diseases, as well as foreigners residing in high infection areas. The inoculation of these three groups would start next month. Thailand has also planned to buy another 50 million doses of the vaccine next year.
Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pfizer shots for emergency use on 24th June as the sixth coronavirus vaccine. It is used as a two-dose regimen given 21 days apart.