The Thai government has just bought an additional 35 million doses from the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca as part of its plan to provide half the kingdom’s population with free COVID-19 jabs.
Next month, the government has also agreed to order two million doses from China to immediately administer to frontline workers and at-risk groups.
Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said yesterday the cabinet has ordered 35 million doses of vaccines from University of Oxford/AstraZeneca, in addition to the already-ordered 26 million doses it ordered in November 2020 from the same group.
The 60 million doses of vaccines will be used for free nationwide jabs that the Ministry of Public Health plans to start this May, with the goal of inoculating 50% of the population.
The cabinet also agreed to allocate 1.2 billion baht to buy two million doses of “CoronaVac” from Sinovac Biotech, a Chinese pharmaceutical company, after the vaccine and its effects were approved by China and Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Indonesia as well as some countries in South America have also reportedly reserved CoronaVac.
For Thailand, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) plans to administer CoronaVac immediately to frontline workers. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha added the government will cooperate with University of Oxford/AstraZeneca to transfer vaccine production methods to Thai pharmaceutical companies so they can make the vaccine, with a 200 million dose target.