Business group orders 100,000 Sinovac shots

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) says it will procure 100,000 doses of China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to be used and paid for by businesses in the first phase of a private sector vaccination scheme.

Other Southeast Asian countries including Indonesia and the Philippines have also launched private schemes, which proponents say will help kickstart key industries and cut the state burden, though some health experts warn that workers could be prioritised over more vulnerable sections of the population.

“The Government Pharmaceutical Organization has confirmed our order,” Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree told reporters, adding that the vaccine costing 1,000 baht per dose should be administered in June.

A health official from Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's mobile unit gives a woman a shot of Covid-19 vaccine at a market in a high-risk area in Bang Khae district in Bangkok on Wednesday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
A health official from Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s mobile unit gives a woman a shot of Covid-19 vaccine at a market in a high-risk area in Bang Khae district in Bangkok on Wednesday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

About 50,000 individuals in 109 companies, mostly in the food and drug sectors, are joining the scheme after an initial survey, FTI’s deputy secretary-general, Panitarn Pavarolavidya, said.

“This batch is not related to the government’s batch for the public. We’re in line for the next lot for vaccinations,” Mr Panitarn said.

The second phase of its mass vaccination drive is slated for June after the first delivery of the locally produced AstraZeneca vaccine as part of a drive to inoculate half of the country’s population of 66.2 million by year’s end.

The country has so far received 200,000 doses of the Sinovac Biotech CoronaVac vaccine and 117,300 doses from AstraZeneca.

On Monday, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha became the first person to be inoculated with the imported AstraZeneca shots and so far 53,842 people have been vaccinated .

Another 800,000 doses of CoronaVac are expected to arrive on March 20 and a further 1 million doses in April.

Thailand has reported 27,494 Covid-19 infections and 89 fatalities.

Health Minister Anutin Charnvirankul said this week that Thailand was in discussions to procure an additional 5 million doses of CoronaVac.

REUTERS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s