By The Nation
The doses are part of a batch of 26 million secured by Thailand at US$5 (Bt150) per dose, said Anutin. This shipment is not the same batch to be produced by local firm Siam Bioscience under a technology-transfer deal with AstraZeneca, he added. More vaccine would arrive in March and April, he said.
The 26 million doses are the first lot that Thailand agreed to purchase in October last year, while negotiations on the price for another 35 million AstraZeneca doses are still ongoing. Anutin said Thailand still does not have enough vaccine, since doses procured so far are only enough to inoculate 30 million people.
The Health Minister added he had volunteered to become the first person in Thailand to receive the AstraZeneca jab. Dr Yong Poovorawan, a virus expert at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, will administer the vaccine to Anutin.
The other vaccine ordered by Thailand – CoronaVac made by Chinese company SinoVac – is still pending registration in China, said the health minister. Thus, AstraZeneca’s vaccine is likely to be registered in Thailand first.