BANGKOK, June 3 (The Nation/ANN) - The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) will import 11 million Sinovac doses from June to complement the government’s plan of procuring at least 100 million vaccine doses for Thai citizens, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Wednesday.“So far we have received 6 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine, 5.5 million of which were through purchase and 500,000 of which were donated by the Chinese government, ” he said.
“Sinovac will complement the main vaccine that will be used in Thailand, AstraZeneca, to fulfill the goal of obtaining at least 100 million doses, ” Anutin said.
“From June to August, a total of 11 million doses of Sinovac will arrive – at the rate of 2.5 million to 3 million doses per month. In June alone we expect to receive 2.5 million doses, 500,000 of which will arrive on Saturday, one million at the middle of the month and another million at the end of the month, ” he explained.
The World Health Organisation approved Sinovac on June 1 for emergency use. Vaccines from Pfizer and partner BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna have also been cleared by WHO for emergency use.
“The WHO recommended that Sinovac be used for people aged 18 and older in a two-dose schedule with a spacing of two to four weeks between shots, ” Anutin said.
“Although it has an efficacy rate of 51 per cent reported from clinical trials, Sinovac offers nearly 100 per cent protection against symptomatic infection and hospitalisation, ” the minister said.
“An advantage of the Sinovac vaccine is that it can be kept at 28 degrees Celsius and is therefore easier to manage. More than 400 million doses of Sinovac have been administered globally with no reports of death linked to the vaccine, ” he added.