NVI drives progress on new jabs allocation deal by June
By the end of 2021, the Ministry of Public Health affirms that Thailand will have procured 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine.
The second allocation of the AstraZeneca vaccine, manufactured by Siam Bioscience Co., Ltd., has successfully passed quality control testing and the third lot is being tested in labs in Scotland and the USA and should be delivered at the beginning of June or sooner.
Dr. Supakij Siriluck, Director-General, Department of Medical Sciences, revealed that, “‘The sample of the Covid-19 vaccine, manufactured by Siam Bioscience Co., Ltd. with AstraZeneca’s viral vector technology registered with the Thai Food & Drug Administration (FDA), has passed the full quality control tests in terms of identity, safety, and chemical-physical investigation. The results of five batches of the vaccine will be used in the verification process of the AstraZeneca vaccine production by Siam Bioscience.”
He added that, ”On 23 April 2021, Siam Bioscience was authorised by the FDA to increase production sites of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. This will greatly benefit the country, in that the company will be able to produce and distribute more of the as soon as possible within this June. Meanwhile, the verification process can proceed directly with the Department of Medical Sciences, so Thai people can get the vaccine soonest and the virus spread can be controlled. This will also facilitate export of the vaccine to other countries, increasing access to Covid-19 vaccine across the globe.”
Responding to the massive new cluster of infections among students, on 22 April 2021, National Vaccine Institute (NVI), Ministry of Public Health, led by Dr. Nakorn Premsri, Director, announced that progress on vaccination purchases in collaboration with Pfizer (Thailand) Limited is being negotiated to achieve the terms and conditions, as well as the delivery timeline.
“‘NVI has been informed by Pfizer (Thailand) as an ongoing solution involving continuous development,” the NVI Director explained. “‘It also offers an alternative temperature scenario which greatly aids transportation and storage. The ultra-low minus 70 Celsius temperature requirement is now increased to minus 20 Celsius to facilitate export to Thailand. Vaccination among over 12-year-old students is therefore promising once the US Food & Drug Administration lodges the approval.”
On 22 April 2021, H.E. Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, led ministry officers in discussions with Pfizer. It emerged that the National Vaccine Institute and the Department of Disease Control have been assigned to act together to advance the provision of the Pfizer vaccine in Thailand. Dr. Nakorn further indicated that the negotiations and drafting of the agreement and related documents to ensure timely availability of the vaccine is well in progress.