The Cabinet has approved a budget of 2.74 billion baht from the central fund of the 2021 national expenditure for the Ministry of Public Health to acquire COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca.
The Ministry of Public Health earlier launched a project to buy the vaccine from AstraZeneca under the Advance Market Commitment. The project involves a total budget of 6.2 billion baht for 26 million doses.
The Food and Drug Administration on 20 January 2021 registered the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca (Thailand) on the list of special controlled drugs that might be imported under the Conditional Approval for Emergency Use of Medicinal Products.
The Department of Disease Control has managed vaccine procurement from AstraZeneca, which has developed the vaccine in partnership with Oxford University, in the United Kingdom. The first lot of 50,000 doses will be delivered to the Thai government by February 2021.
Apart from the 26 million doses from AstraZeneca, Thailand has also sought to secure COVID-19 vaccines from other sources, such as China’s pharmaceutical manufacturer Sinovac Biotech.
As the Government attaches highest priority to the safety and quality of the vaccines, as well as timeliness of procurement, all vaccines must be approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration before administering inoculations to the population.
The National Vaccine Institute stated that there would be sufficient vaccines and that they would be rolled out with priority given to the most vulnerable groups.
Source: The Government Public Relations Department