BANGKOK (Dec 31): Thailand has secured at least another two million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to be delivered between February and April next year, said Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.
Anutin who is also the Public Health Minister said Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha on Wednesday directed him to discuss the procurement of additional Covid-19 vaccine with producers.
Last month, Thailand had signed an agreement with British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical firm, AstraZeneca Plc to secure 26 million doses of its potential Covid-19 vaccine for immunisation of 13 million people before May.
“Following negotiations, at least another two million doses of Covid-19 vaccine are expected. I have informed prime minister (Prayuth) and he supported the procurement,” he said in a posting on his Facebook page today.
However, Anutin who is undergoing home quarantine following a meeting with Samut Sakhon governor who tested positive for Covid-19 on Dec 28 did not disclose from which manufacturer the country would procure the additional vaccine.
Anutin added that Prayuth also assigned relevant agencies to speed up the process of securing the vaccine as soon as possible for risk groups.
Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said Prayuth hoped that at least 50% of the population would be vaccinated in 2021.
Meanwhile, over the last 24 hours, Thailand recorded 194 Covid-19 cases including 181 local transmissions and 13 imported cases.
Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman Thaweesilp Wissanuyothin said during a press conference that the latest outbreak in Thailand has spread to 51 of 77 provinces to date.
Of the 194 Covid-19 cases, 128 cases — 77 in Rayong province, 20 in Samut Sakhon, Chonburi (16), Samut Prakan (six), Chanthaburi (five), Trat (three) and Chachoengsao (one) under investigation source of infections, he said.
Thaweesilp urged the people to stay home for the New Year celebrations.
“There is no ban on inter-provincial travel but it is best to stay at home for the countdown to the new year, rather than count up the Covid-19 cases,” he said.
To date, Thailand has recorded 6,854 cases with 61 fatalities.