BANGKOK, December 11. /TASS/. AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish pharmaceutical company, will produce 200 million doses of its anti-coronavirus vaccine in Thailand next year with the help of Siam Bioscience, director of Thailand’s National Vaccine Institute Dr. Nakorn Premsri, said in an interview with TASS.
"AstraZeneca is hiring the Thai company Siam Bioscience to produce the vaccine," he explained. "The capacity will be 200 million doses of the vaccine per year. The Thai government has reserved 26 million doses for itself. This is the first batch of the vaccine to be available in May or June 2021."
According to Dr. Premsri, from 5 million to 10 million people can be vaccinated in Thailand per month. "We need 26 million doses of the vaccine first of all in 2021 and if we need more, we will consider the possibility of additional purchases, once the vaccine will be produced in Thailand," he said, adding that if need be the vaccine could be distributed in other countries, in particular in Southeast Asia.
"This does not mean that we will vaccinate only 13 million people, but at the first stage we need to vaccinate key groups. In addition, it is necessary to take into account a lot of factors before vaccination, such as safety and availability. It is necessary to determine the best option for the country due to the limited number of vaccines available, and who needs to be vaccinated first," he said, adding that vaccination for Thai citizens will be free. Medical personnel, small children, senior citizens and members of vulnerable groups are expected to be the first to get vaccinated.
The first coronavirus case in Thailand was confirmed on January 13. By today, around 4,100 such cases have been confirmed in the country. More than 3,800 patients have recovered and 60 patients have died. An emergency regime will stay in place until January 15, 2021.