The Minister of Public Health confirmed over this weekend that another 800,000 doses of Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccines arrived in the Kingdom of Thailand and more were on the way.
The announcement was made by Anutin Charnvirakul, The Minister of Public Health, speaking from Bangkok on Saturday, March 20th, 2021.
The Sinovac vaccines, which are produced in China, will go to primarily medical staff and first responders around Thailand. Another one million shots of Sinovac vaccines are scheduled to arrive next month, according to Anutin.
Additionally, Thailand is now in discussions with Sinovac to purchase an additional five million vaccines from the company, on top of a large number of AstraZeneca vaccines scheduled to arrive over the summer. This comes as a major push is taking place from tourism-reliant destinations like Pattaya and Phuket to vaccinate local populations to expedite the return of foreign tourism without a fourteen-day, fifteen-night quarantine.
Additionally, showing yet another U-turn, Anutin stated that the Thai Government would not block private companies and organizations, such as those in Phuket and Pattaya, from purchasing supplies of vaccines privately, but that various procedures must take place before this happens. Thailand had initially stated they would allow private groups, hospitals, and organizations to purchase vaccines to provide in private and then did an abrupt U-turn, causing an uproar from tourist reliant areas who were counting on the private purchases to get their local communities vaccinated faster to attempt to bring back foreign tourism.