Thailand to procure at least 120 mil doses of vaccine to expand vaccination, booster shot

(Reuters filepix by Athit Perawongmetha)

(Reuters filepix by Athit Perawongmetha)

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BANGKOK (Aug 22): Thailand plans to procure at least 120 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine next year, including second-generation vaccines, for booster shot,  as well as expanding inoculation to children to provide added protection.

Director-general of the Disease Control Department Dr Opas Karnkawinpong said the National Vaccine Institute plans to purchase various type of vaccine including messenger RNA (mRNA), viral vector vaccine, and protein subunit vaccine.

He said the plans include the procurement of 50 million doses each of Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine and AstraZeneca viral vector vaccine. 

 He added the vaccine would include the second-generation vaccine that has the ability to protect against current and future coronavirus variants, if any company successfully develops such vaccine.

“The quantity and delivery time will be negotiated further,” he was quoted saying by The Nation daily.

Since its vaccine drive kicked off on Feb 28, Thailand has administered 26.83 million doses of vaccine including 8,393 doses as booster shot for frontliners who received the vaccine produced by China’s Sinovac Biotech.

The vaccination drive in the kingdom is picking up following vaccine availability and choices. 

Amid concerns on the highly contagious Delta variant, health authorities are looking into administering booster shots against the Delta variant.

As Covid-19 cases remain high, Thailand is speeding up its vaccination drive in bid to contain the outbreak in the kingdom. 

Meanwhile, Thailand reported 19,014 new Covid-19 cases and 233 fatalities, over the last 24 hours, bringing the total infections in the kingdom to 1,049,295 and 9,320 deaths to date.

In a statement, Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said the new cases include 19,004 local tranmission and 10 imported cases.

It said the new fatalities involved 140 men and 93 women aged between seven months and 101 years old, including four Myanmar nationals,  one each Singaporean, Chinese and Laotian.