฿4.25 Billion Approved for 12 Million More Sinovac Doses

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha points to a shipment of Sinovac vaccines during a handover ceremony at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Feb. 24, 2021.

BANGKOK — The government on Tuesday will spend 4.25 billion baht to buy 12 million more Sinovac vaccine doses for its “mix-and-match” vaccination program, the government spokesman said.

The doses will go to people with underlying health conditions putting them at risk; people aged 60 years and over; and officials and workers involved in controlling the pandemic, including quarantine facilities, soldiers, police officers, and garbage collectors, according to spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.

Any remaining vaccines will go to members of the public, he said.

The vaccine will be delivered to Thailand either this month or in October, Thanakorn said. Under the government’s “mix-and-match” approach, people will receive Sinovac’s CoronaVac as their first jab, and doses made by AstraZeneca as the second.

About 15 percent of the Thai population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while approximately 38 percent received at least one jab so far.

Although CoronaVac has been approved by the World Health Organization for emergency use, based on the results of the vaccine’s clinical trials, many on social media remain skeptical of the vaccine’s efficiency, especially against the highly contagious Delta variant.

The Chinese embassy in Thailand on Friday responded to the criticism by alleging that there are people who are undermining Beijing’s good intentions of helping Thailand fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Writing on its Facebook account, the embassy said every dose of the Covid-19 vaccine which China has supplied to Thailand represents the “friendship and sincerity” extended by the Chinese authorities to Thailand and its people.