BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand on Tuesday ordered an additional 30 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said, with delivery expected to begin in the first quarter of next year.
The latest order is on top of 30 million Pfizer-BioNTech shots due to arrive this year and 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine slated for 2022.
Thailand, which manufactures AstraZeneca vaccines, has so far inoculated about 54% of the 72 million people in the country.
Thailand’s main vaccination drive in June https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/thailand-starts-long-awaited-covid-19-vaccination-drive-2021-06-07 had a slow start, due to vaccine shortages and registration problems as the country struggled to quell the Delta variant, with over 200 daily fatalities and 23,000 new infections peaking in August https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/thailand-reports-record-covid-19-deaths-second-day-row-2021-08-18.
The rate of infections has since slowed with more vaccines and partial lockdowns in higher risk areas.
Thailand, which reported 5,126 new infections and 53 deaths on Tuesday, has recorded more than 2 million infections and 20,489 deaths overall.
The country also has ordered 50,000 courses of Merck & Co’s Molnupiravir antiviral pill for COVID-19 treatment and is in discussions with Pfizer for its Paxlovid pill.
(Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Ed Davies)