Thailand to secure more Pfizer, Sinovac and Moderna vaccines to contain pandemic

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Xinhua) — Thailand on Tuesday approved plans to purchase more COVID-19 vaccines, including Pfizer, Sinovac and Moderna, as the country tried to contain a months-long surge in infections.

The cabinet of ministers approved a plan to purchase 20 million doses of Pfizer vaccines from the United States, with delivery scheduled within the fourth quarter of this year, said Udom Khachinthorn, an adviser to the Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), the country’s COVID-19 task force.

The country planned to give Pfizer vaccine as the third shot to medical workers and those having to make contact with infected patients at work, he said.

The cabinet also endorsed the planned purchase of five million doses of Moderna vaccine from the United States and more Sinovac vaccines from China.

The Southeast Asian country is struggling to contain the third wave of outbreak, the worst wave since the pandemic began, as the total tally of infections surged from less than 30,000 at the beginning of April to near 300,000 now.

On Tuesday, the country reported 5,420 new cases, raising the total case tally to 294,653. The death toll increased by 57 to 2,333, according to the CCSA.

Thailand detected 1,838 cases of Delta variant between April 27 and July 2, of which 1,309 were found in capital Bangkok.

As of Monday, the country has administered more than 11 million doses of vaccines. It aims to inoculate about 70 percent of its nearly 70-million people by the end of the year.