AstraZeneca will delay its delivery of locally-produced vaccines, extending the delivery period until early next year, a deputy minister said on Thursday.
AstraZeneca were due to deliver 61 million doses of the vaccines by the end of the year but according to Deputy Health Minister Sathit Pitutacha, the company will extend the timeline by five months.
Sathit said in an interview with a local television station that he plans on negotiating with the company for more vaccines as “the situation demands it.”
AstraZeneca, and its local producer Siam Bioscience, has been met with criticism due to the sluggish rollout of the vaccines including delays to production in May and in June.
The government has also been criticized for its reliance on Siam Bioscience and the unproven imported SinoVacs vaccine to meet the country’s vaccine requirements. The criticism has sent the Prayut Chan-ocha administration scrambling to source other vaccines which will not arrive until later this year.
Thailand has only fully inoculated 4 percent of its population contributing to a damaging and spreading third wave of the pandemic.
The country saw a record 98 deaths on Thursday and +9,107 new local infections. Parts of the country, including the capital Bangkok, have been lockdown by the government to combat the third wave.