Thailand will stop using the COVID-19 vaccine from Chinese company Sinovac when its current supply runs out, said a senior official, who has used the vaccine extensively in combination with vaccines developed by the West. Thailand has used more than 31.5 million doses of Sinovac since February, starting with two doses to frontline workers, high-risk groups and residents of Phuket, a holiday island that has reopened to tourists at the start of a pilot program.
In July, Thailand started inoculating people with Sinovac as the first dose, followed by AstraZeneca developed by the University of Oxford.
Thailand was the first country to combine Chinese and Western injections, a strategy that its health officials say has proven effective
“We plan to have distributed all doses of Sinovac this week,” said health official Opas Karnkawinpong, adding that the program will switch to combining the AstraZeneca vaccine with that manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech.
Thailand plans to purchase a total of 120 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine next year and has already reserved 60 million doses of AstraZeneca, a vaccine it manufactures locally
Thailand said it would only buy effective vaccines against the new variants. It has so far vaccinated 36% of the estimated 72 million people who live in Thailand and hopes to reach 70% by the end of the year. Country moves forward with plan to reopen without quarantine next month of 17 provinces to vaccinated arrivals from low-risk countries
Destinations like Pattaya, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai and Bangkok will be included
Thailand has recorded nearly 1.8 million cases and a total of 18,336 deaths, more than 98% in the past seven months.
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