Thailand says on track to use Sinovac vaccine, despite trial data

Medical workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) collect PCR Covid-19 coronavirus test samples at the Urban Institute for Disease Prevention and Control in Bangkok January 11, 2021. — AFP pic
Medical workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) collect PCR Covid-19 coronavirus test samples at the Urban Institute for Disease Prevention and Control in Bangkok January 11, 2021. — AFP pic

BANGKOK, Jan 13 — Thailand today said it was still on track to receive and administer a coronavirus vaccine by China’s Sinovac Biotech starting next month, despite data from a Brazil trial that showed 50.4 per cent efficiency, health officials said.

“There is no impact on our plan right now,” Supakit Sirilak, Director-General of Medical Science Department, told a briefing when asked about Brazil’s data.

“We are asking for information directly from Sinovac, so we are waiting for their response to get all the facts,” he said.

Thailand, which has reported a total of 10,991 infections and 67 fatalities since it detected its first case a year ago, has ordered two million doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac and expects to receive the first 200,000 doses next month.

It has also ordered 61 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which will be produced by local firm, Siam Bioscience for domestic use and export.

The Brazil trial findings came just as Indonesia started a massive coronavirus vaccination campaigns, with its president the first to be inoculated with CoronaVac

Malaysia today said it would only go ahead with procurement of Sinovac’s vaccine if it satisfies the safety and efficacy standards of local regulators.

Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration today said it was assessing all vaccines based on quality, safety and efficiency.

“The companies requesting approval must provide information that addresses all these points,” FDA Deputy Secretary-General Surachoke Tangwiwat said.

Thailand received requests yesterday for vaccine registration from AstraZeneca and Sinovac. — Reuters

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