Govt inks deal to buy 60m AstraZeneca doses for third booster jabs next year


THE Public Health Ministry yesterday (Sept. 29) signed a contract to buy 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine for third booster jabs next year, Amarin TV said.

Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul presided over the contract signing ceremony, worth 18 billion baht, between Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, head of the Disease Control Department, and Mr. James Teague, president of AstraZeneca (Thailand) Co., Ltd.

The Cabinet had recently approved the purchase of this vaccine from the Thai factory with 15 million doses to be delivered in the first quarter, 30 million in the second quarter and 15 million in the third quarter.

Thailand is among the first countries allowed to produce the second generation vaccine once the company develops it with this covering various mutant strains of Covid-19 and is usable with children and a switch to the new generation of vaccine is permitted under this contract.

Meanwhile the ministry said this morning there were 11,646 Covid cases and 107 deaths over the past 24 hours which raises the cumulative confirmed total since April 1 to 1,574,612.

A breakdown shows that 10,259 patients emerged in surveillance and healthcare systems, 1,249 found through proactive search in communities, 120 fell sick in prisons and detention centres while 18 overseas arrivals tested positive.

Another 10,887 patients have been cured taking total recoveries since April 1 to 1,443,247 while 116,075 patients are still undergoing treatment.

In another development a ceremony was held today to close Busarakham field hospital at Impact Muang Thong Thani due to the number of patients admitted here having steadily decreased since the beginning of this month as a result of more people being vaccinated thus decreasing the spread of infection, Thai Rath newspaper said.

This field hospital, consisting of 3,700 beds, was in operation for 130 days from May 14 onwards and during this time treated 20,436 Covid patients.


Top: A test tube labelled vaccine is seen in front of AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken on September 9, 2020. Photo: Reuters/ Dado Ruvic and published by CNBC

Home Page: Busarakham field hospital at Impact Muang Thong Thani was shut today (Sept. 30). Photo: Thai Rath


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