Thailand will stop using China’s Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine when its current stock runs out, a senior official said, largely using the shot in combination with Western-developed vaccines. Thailand has used more than 31.5 million Sinovac doses since February, starting with two doses for frontline workers, high-risk groups and residents of Phuket, a holiday island that will re-open to tourists in a pilot plan. opened from
In July, Thailand began vaccinating people with Sinovac as the first dose, followed by the AstraZeneca vaccine developed by the University of Oxford.
Thailand was the first country to combine Chinese and Western shots, a strategy its health officials said has proven effective.
“We expect to distribute all Sinovac doses this week,” health official Opus Karnakawinpong said, adding the program will switch to a combination of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech.
Thailand plans to buy a total of 120 million COVID-19 vaccine doses next year and has already booked 60 million doses of AstraZeneca, a vaccine it manufactures locally
Thailand has said it will only procure effective vaccines against the new variant. It has so far vaccinated 36 percent of the estimated 72 million people living in Thailand and is expected to reach 70 percent by the end of the year. The country is moving forward with a quarantine-free reopening plan next month of 17 provinces arriving from low-risk countries
Destinations such as Pattaya, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai and Bangkok will be included
Thailand has recorded nearly 1.8 million cases and 18,336 deaths overall, up more than 98 percent over the past seven months.
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