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By Linda Khoo Hui Li
BANGKOK, April 21 -- Thailand plans to procure 35 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from two to three producers as the kingdom deals with the third wave of outbreak.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha said all procured vaccines would be distributed and administered in the kingdom by the year end.
He said a committee for COVD-19 vaccine procurement led by adviser to the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) Prof Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn suggested that Thailand should buy about 35 million more doses of vaccine.
“Private sector will purchase 10 to 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for their employees. The vaccines will be distributed by end of this year,” he said in a posting on his official Facebook page.
To date, Thailand has procured 65 million doses of AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccine since the vaccination drive kicked off on Feb 28.
Thailand is expected to receive additional 500,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine on April 24 while the Public Health Ministry is finalising a deal to import additional 1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine as the kingdom deals with the third outbreak.
Local media reported that Thailand is negotiating to procure 5 to 10 million doses of Pfizer vaccine which is expected to be delivered from July and completed by December.
Meanwhile, Thailand recorded 1,458 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths, bringing the total infections in the kingdom to 46,643 and 110 fatalities.
Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) assistant spokesperson Dr Apisamai Srirangsan said of the 1,458 new cases, 1,454 were local transmission including 1,346 seeking treatment at hospitals and 108 through active case detection, and four imported cases including a Thai woman who returned from Malaysia.
She said Bangkok topped the list with the highest number of cases at 365 cases recorded, followed by Chiang Mai (134), Chonburi (80), Nonthaburi (69), Rayong (64) and Samut Sakhon(54).
“At total of 17,780 COVID-19 cases and 16 fatalities reported in April alone.
“At present, 17,162 patients remain hospitalised,” she said.
She added the two fatalities were a 56-year-old Thai woman from Bangkok and a 32-year-old Thai man from Nonthaburi. Both had underlying diseases.