Thai Vaccine Program in Shambles

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Thai Vaccine Program in Shambles

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"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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Re: Thai Vaccine Program in Shambles

Post by puan »

Thanks Undaunted. An excellent read.

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Re: Thai Vaccine Program in Shambles

Post by Gaybutton »

That and your other post ( viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10712&p=104701#p104701 ) ought to be the concern, especially for those of you who went to Bangkok and received that first dose of AstraZeneca. Now there is no telling if, when the time comes for the second dose, whether there will even be any AstraZeneca, not to mention the kinds of restrictions that possibly might be in place when the time comes to go and get the second dose. Yes, I know they are letting people from Pattaya who are eligible go to Bangkok for getting vaccinated. That's the way things are now. What things will be like later is anybody's guess.

Speaking only for myself, if they really don't have any AstraZeneca for the second dose, but they offer Sinopharm or any other crappy vaccine as an alternative, I would decline. I would just hope the first dose lasts long enough and would wait until more AstraZeneca or other quality vaccines become available, whichever comes first.

Unfortunately, the free vaccine program, while it sounded good "on paper" has in reality turned into one giant screw-up. One aspect of all this that gets to me is Thailand does have a lot of AstraZeneca, but they're exporting it rather than taking care of the people here. They may say they have no control over it and there is no choice, but I don't believe that.

Everything seems to be one excuse after another and I can't think of even one day lately when the story was one thing, but by the next day had changed.

You folks do what you want, but I am sticking with my original plan. I'm not going to Bangkok or anywhere else whether the vaccines are available or not. I'm staying put and waiting for Moderna, Pfizer, or if something better comes out and I am willing to pay for it and get it at a hospital - in Pattaya. The price is close to the same price as the taxi ride to and from Bangkok.

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Re: Thai Vaccine Program in Shambles

Post by Jun »

Gaybutton wrote:
Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:58 am
One aspect of all this that gets to me is Thailand does have a lot of AstraZeneca, but they're exporting it rather than taking care of the people here.
1 Where's the evidence that they have lot's of Astra Zeneca and are exporting it ? I might have missed that. Most news reports seem to avoid discussing the local vaccine maker's performance, for obvious reasons.

2 Drug companies don't set up vaccine plants in every single country. They set up in a small number of countries, then make vaccine to order, based on whoever has ordered it. So if Thailand has only ordered (say) half the production, they only get half the production.
If the countries with the vaccine plants then ban exports, no one will buy off them in future.
Also, production of the vaccine in Thailand will almost certainly rely on imported materials. So what goes round comes round.


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Re: Thai Vaccine Program in Shambles

Post by Jun »

Thank you.
That clarifies the export ratio, which I had missed.
They say they will meet the full contracted volume this year, but do not seem to comment on current production levels.

BKK Post extract:
"Under a contract signed with AstraZeneca, Thailand will receive all 61 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine this year, while it isn't specifically stated how many doses will be delivered per month, he said. Given Siam Bioscence's production capacity, 180 million doses will be produced per year, or about 15 million doses per month, he said.

Asked how much of the AstraZeneca vaccine was actually supplied to Thailand in recent months under the contract, Dr Nakorn said the vaccine maker sticks to its one-third rule, in which Thailand gets a third of its output, and the rest is exported. The company has entered supply contracts with various other countries in the region."

So Thailand has ordered 61 million doses, 1/3rd of the production.
That's what Thailand should expect to receive. To suddenly decide they want to take a higher proportion for domestic use would be unethical & would damage Thailand's chances of receiving future investment in pharmaceutical production.
As Thailand will need to import materials to make vaccines, it could also leave them open to retaliatory export bans.

Also, 61 million doses ought to be enough to vaccinate 30.5 million people, or over half the adult population.
The main problems seem to be:
(i) a lag of about 6 months in starting production, compared with other countries
and
(ii) no evidence of a contract for an effective vaccine for the remainder of the population.

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Re: Thai Vaccine Program in Shambles

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Jun wrote:
Sat Jul 17, 2021 6:15 pm
They say they will meet the full contracted volume this year
Many things have been said. I've come to believe none of it. I'll believe it when it happens.

When the promises fall through, one thing they have no problem with at all - coming up with excuses. I would be very surprised if whoever "they" is isn't already working on excuses why the contracted volume wasn't met this year - you know - just in case . . .

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Re: Thai Vaccine Program in Shambles

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Based on this article I note one thing that has changed - it's worse than I thought.
________________________________________

Fate of 100m-dose vaccination hangs in the air

Leaked letters show AstraZeneca may not be to blame for shortfall

17 July, 2021

Leaked correspondence between the Thai government and the Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca has raised a big question about the former’s commitment to administer 100 million doses by the end of this year.

Isra News Agency on Saturday posted a letter sent by Sjoerd Hubben, vice-president for global corporate affairs of AstraZeneca Inc, to Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul 22 days ago.

The letter explains to the ministry that the most Thailand would get from the European drugmaker’s local contract manufacturer would 5-6 million doses a month, which is consistent with their earlier discussions.

Siam Bioscience Co Ltd, a company owned by His Majesty the King, was retooled to manufacture the vaccine. The government subsidised 600 million baht for the upgrade and officials later said the company would pay back the sum in the form of shots.

The letter caught many by surprise since the government had repeated many times that 100 million doses would be administered by the end of the year to inoculate at least 70% of the population, with 61 million of them being locally produced AstraZeneca.

On various occasions, the government assured people that AstraZeneca would supply at least 10 million doses a month for the rest of the year.

The question that naturally followed is what vaccines the government would buy to achieve that goal, especially when all sides have agreed that Sinovac, which is the most readily available, cannot effectively shield against the Delta variant of the coronavirus. Sinovac also costs at least four times more than AstraZeneca.

According to the letter, the Ministry of Public Health to date has placed two orders for 61 million doses of AZ vaccine in total. The first, concluded in January this year, was for 26 million doses, and the second, closed in May this year, was for 35 million doses.

These 61 million doses were part of the 175 million that Siam Bioscience has been contracted to make. Thailand is to get 34.9% of its output, or 5-6 million doses a month. The rest will be shipped to other countries, AstraZeneca says in the letter.

Furthermore, the letter revealed that in early September last year the government was committed to buying only 3 million doses a month. Therefore, AZ says it hopes Thailand should be pleased that it is now receiving 5-6 million doses a month.

The company also mentioned that it had urged the government back in September last year to enter the Covax vaccine-sharing facility, along with buying directly from manufacturers. Thailand is one of a handful of developing countries that have not joined Covax.

The dates when the agreements were actually concluded, as mentioned in the letter, also raised eyebrows. It showed the agreement for the second batch of 35 million doses was concluded as recently as May this year, even though the third wave has been raging through the country since the start of April.

Mr Anutin told Isra that Thailand had in fact reserved the supply early this year. In any case, the cabinet approved the budget for it on March 5 and it took two months after that to sign the agreement.

Dr Nakorn Premsri, director of the National Vaccine Institute, on July 2 was the first to reveal the shortfall of AstraZeneca supplies.

Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha also admitted on Thursday that AstraZeneca would not be able to deliver all 61 million doses under the two contracts until May next year. The original deadline was supposed to have been December.

Contrary to what people had assumed earlier, he said 10 million doses a month was in fact Thailand’s capacity to vaccinate people, not the number of vaccines it would get from AstraZeneca. He said the company had seen the vaccination plan but had said nothing.

The revelation had led some Thais to think it was AstraZeneca that had failed to honour the contract, potentially derailing the country’s immunisation plan.

The Opposition even urged the government to exercise its authority under the vaccine law to ban exports of Thai-made vaccines when there are shortages in the country.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... in-the-air


"Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha also admitted on Thursday that AstraZeneca would not be able to deliver all 61 million doses under the two contracts until May next year. The original deadline was supposed to have been December."


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