One million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Sinopharm, which was ordered by Chulabhorn Royal Academy (CRA) as an alternative to currently available options, have passed a quality control test to ensure the lot, which was shipped from China, is safe for use.
Department of Medical Sciences director-general Dr Supakit Sirilak on Wednesday said the first lot of Sinopharm vaccine arrived in Thailand on 20th June, and the department has taken vaccine samples to conduct safety and quality checks.
This is required by a regulation that stipulates all vaccines must be tested by the department first before they are released for public use.
It is one of the country’s first alternative vaccines, purchased by the CRA to the private sector and local administrative organisations.
The department’s chief said laboratory tests on the vaccine checked its safety, together with its physical and chemical appearance, to ensure they meet standards set by the Food and Drug Administration.
“A result from our laboratory concluded that this lot of vaccine has passed our test,” he said. “We have already issued a certificate so that it could be released for distribution.”
The CRA updated the vaccine allocation plan on its Facebook page, saying that 6,437 companies and organisations will get the vaccine to 779,300 people by August at the latest.
CRA secretary-general Nithi Mahanonda said the first lot of Sinopharm vaccines will be ready for the recipients, who registered during 14th-15th June, while the CRA’s committees will allocate the rest of the vaccines, when the CRA knows the exact amount that will be imported during July and August.
Meanwhile, the managing director of Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) Withoon Danwiboon said the GPO is operating as a facilitator between Zuellig Pharma Ltd, which is a supplier of Moderna vaccine in Thailand, and private hospitals here.
As such, the GPO is now in the process of drafting vaccine purchasing agreements between the company and the GPO, which could be signed by early August.
After signing the agreements, Zuellig Pharma will start to hand over 5 million doses of vaccines to the GPO for further distribution.