With the surge in cases, Thailand will launch a large-scale coronavirus vaccination campaign

Thailand will launch its Covid-19 immunization program on Monday, focusing on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine produced by Siam Bioscience, a company owned by King Maha Vajiralongkorn, which has never produced a vaccine before.

This launch is a high-risk initiative for the Prayuth Chan-ocha government and AstraZeneca, which faces increasing public and corporate anger over the delay in vaccine supply, and the latter has chosen Thailand as its production center in Southeast Asia .

Siam Bioscience will produce 200 million doses of coronavirus vaccine, including for export.

Thailand is working with A surge in infections Approximately 2,000-4,000 new cases are reported every day-this is the highest level since the pandemic began.

Same as its regional counterparts Vietnam with Taiwan, The Kingdom will reduce the reported Covid-19 infection rate to zero in 2020. The surge in cases has been blamed on more contagious variants of the coronavirus, which spread rapidly in markets, prisons and worker camps.

However, the production of Siam Bioscience is showing signs of delay.Filipino Say Last week, it expected that the first batch of 17 million doses of vaccines from Thailand was delayed and reduced in size.

In addition, the Thai Rural Doctors Association claimed that the government imported 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from South Korea to make up for the production shortage. Some Thais reported that they might make an appointment for vaccination in June, but were later told that they had been delayed.

Thai government last week Receive the goods 1.8 million doses of vaccine from AstraZeneca, this is the first of the 6 million vaccines scheduled to arrive this month. It insisted on launching as planned, but a government spokesperson declined to answer questions from the Financial Times about whether it will use Korean-imported jabs and locally-made jabs. Siam Bioscience declined to comment, and AstraZeneca’s Thailand office did not respond to a request for comment.

The outspoken online publication “Thailand Enquirer” last week called Siam Biosciences an “international embarrassment.”

“even though Indian Serum Institute Pavida Pananond, professor of international business at the Thammasat School of Business, said of the Indian vaccine manufacturer that it has encountered problems, so it is wrong to expect that everything at Siam Bioscience, the first-time producer, will be as smooth as silk. “But AstraZeneca can do a lot by being more proactive.”

Due to the surge in the number of infections at the beginning of this year, the Thai government has been accused of relying too much on a single vaccine produced by the first vaccine manufacturer. Recently, it has taken action to support the supply of jabs from alternative suppliers, including Chinese pharmaceutical companies Sinovac, BioNTech/Pfizer, and American pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson.

Thais criticized Siam Bioscience’s freedom for being restricted by the following facts: The billionaire king owns it, And making remarks deemed insulting to the royal family is a criminal offense.

Thanathorn JuangroongruangkitThailand’s most famous opposition figure was accused of insulting His Majesty and “computer crime” in January after commenting on his so-called “Royal Vaccine” online.

The power and wealth of the 69-year-old Thai king have been unusually criticized by participants in the youth leadership last year. Democratic protest.

Additional reporting by Ryn Jirenuwat in Bangkok

Follow on Twitter: @JohnReedwrites

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