Saturday, 16 Jan 2021
WORLD
14/01/2021 11:22 PM

By Linda Khoo

BANGKOK, Jan 14 -- Thailand, which is expected to receive its first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine from Sinovac Biotech in February, is asking for more information from the Chinese company on its clinical trials before the delivery.

Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman, Thaweesilp Wissanuyothin said Thailand’s primary consideration on COVID-19 vaccine was safety and efficacy.

At present, he said, the Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received requests for vaccine registration from AstraZeneca and Sinovac.

“The Thai FDA has already made a request to Sinovac to provide it with more detailed information on the clinical trials,” he said at the COVID-19 daily briefing, here, today.

The effectiveness of Sinovac’s vaccine has triggered concerns following data from a Brazil trial showing that it was only 50.4 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic infections.

Director-general of the Medical Science Department, Supakit Sirilak said Thailand was on track to receive China’s Sinovac vaccine starting next month despite the trial data showing lower efficiency. 

Thailand has procured two million doses of COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s pharmaceutical company, Sinovac Biotech Ltd. The first shipment of 200,000 doses is expected to arrive by the end of February and 800,000 doses by end of March and one million doses by end of April.

Under the National Vaccination Plan, Thaweesilp said the first batch of 200,000 Sinovac’s vaccine will be given to high-risk groups in areas where the transmission rate is high in the latest outbreak, including medical and public health personnel, patients with underlying health conditions, and citizens aged 60 and above.

Thailand has also ordered 61 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Siam Bioscience will be producing COVID-19 vaccine using the formula and technology developed by AstraZeneca Plc, with its first batch to be ready by May.

-- BERNAMA

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