Thailand on track to get 100 million shots in arms by year end, official says

Thailand is on course to meet the target of administering 100 million Covid vaccine doses within 2021, even though only 28 million doses have been administered so far and AstraZeneca will only be able to send seven million doses per month between September and December, the government said on Wednesday.

A total of 28.2 million Covid vaccines were administered between February 28 and August 24, including 21.2 million first doses, 6.4 million second doses and 560,624 third-booster shots. 

More than 585,000 people were vaccinated on Tuesday.

“To meet the target, we have to administer around 15 million doses per month or 500,000 doses per day and if you have been following the daily development, we have been vaccinating more than 500,000 people per day over the past week,” said Dr Apisamai Srirangson, an assistant spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

“For August, 13.8 million doses have been made available, including 6.5 million Sinovac, 5.8 million AstraZeneca, 1.5 million donated Pfizer and 1 million Sinopharm so we are on course for August with more than 500,000 people being vaccinated per day,” she said.

The breakdown numbers Apisamai gave add up to 14.8 million doses.

“Another 15 million doses will be made available for September including six million Sinovac, seven million AstraZeneca and two million Pfizer,” she said.

Another 34 million doses are expected to be made available in October and November (17 million each month).

According to CCSA’s data, Thailand administered 4.6 million doses between August 16 and August 24 with an average of 511,725 people per day.  

Thailand received 1.5 million donated Pfizer doses from the US since July 30 and has ordered 30 million more Pfizer doses, which are expected to arrive between September and December.

Apart from the 2 million Pfizer doses that are expected to arrive in September, another 8 million doses are expected to arrive in October, 10 million in November and 10 million in December.

For AstraZeneca, the government said on Monday that Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha has spoken with chief executive Pascal Claude Roland Soriot, and the company has agreed to deliver all of the ordered 61 million AstraZeneca doses between now and December.

Earlier AstraZeneca had said that the 61 million doses would be delivered by May 2022.

As of the end of August AstraZeneca had delivered 17.1 million doses of the vaccine and had said that it would deliver 5-6 million doses for the remaining months of 2021.

A decision to supply 61 million doses would mean that for the remaining four months of 2021 (between September and December) Thailand could get up to 10.9 million doses per month.

However, Apisamai said on Wednesday that AstraZeneca told the government that they will be able to send 7 million per month between September and December, not 10 million.

“AstraZeneca was able to send 5.8 million in August but from the latest negotiation…AstraZeneca said they will be able to send at least seven million per month between September and December,” she said.  

If they can only send 7 million doses per month, this would mean that AstraZeneca would be 15.9 million doses short of their latest promise to the Thai government. Apisamai said if they can produce more, they will deliver more.

For Sinovac, 30 million doses of the inactivated vaccine are expected to arrive between now and December.  

This would mean that Thailand’s vaccine supply for 2021 would be 120 million
doses including 61 million of AstraZeneca (if AstraZeneca can send more than 10.9 million per month between September and December), 30 million doses of Chinese Sinovac and 30 million doses of Pfizer.

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