2021 Ahead: Thailand to get first 2 million vaccine doses in February
Bangkok, Dec 31: Thailand will receive the first 2 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine in February, as the country grapples with a surge in cases. Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul made the announcement Thursday but did not identify the manufacturer.
Thailand has signed a deal with Oxford-AstraZeneca to locally produce 180 million-200 million doses for Southeast Asia. Out of that, it has reserved 26 million for its population.
Media reports quoted officials as saying the first locally produced shots aren't expected before May. Anutin said that Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha had assigned him to negotiate with every company that has started selling vaccines.
"Today we will continue the negotiation to secure more vaccine and get them as soon as possible for the safety of Thai people, which is the most important mission of the Thai government at the moment," he told reporters.
On Thursday, Thailand reported 194 new cases, including 181 local transmissions. The new outbreak, which began at the country's largest wholesale seafood market south of Bangkok, has spread to 51 out of the 76 provinces.