News the AstraZeneca vaccine in Thailand is likely to experience severe shortages over the next few months is probably not surprising to most.
Not when it has been obvious for the last few months Thailand is experiencing a severe shortage of vaccines against Covid-19. Even if the Thai government continues to insist it isn’t.
That’s why today’s news the number of AstraZeneca vaccines being manufactured by Siam Bioscience for use in Thailand are likely to be around 50% lower than was promised in the next couple of months isn’t remotely a shock.
AstraZeneca vaccine shortage in Thailand
The news about an AstraZeneca vaccine shortage in Thailand came via the director of the National Vaccine Institute earlier today, when he announced the previously promised 10 million doses of the Covid vaccine for Thais are, in reality, likely to only be 50-60% of that.
This is primarily due to two things — the increased demand for the AstraZeneca vaccine in Thailand, and the number of vaccine doses already promised to other countries by Siam Bioscience and AstraZeneca.
The current shortage of AstraZeneca vaccines in Thailand means, instead of the 10 million doses of the vaccine promised, there will only be 5 to 6 million doses available over the next few months.
In a country already falling behind the current vaccine rates of a large percentage of the world, this could be catastrophic. Especially as cases of Covid-19 in Thailand continue to rise.
Of course, Siam Bioscience’s struggle to deliver the number of AstraZeneca vaccine doses expected does not just negatively impact Thailand.
It also impacts Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan — all countries that have contracted with Siam Bioscience so they could receive Covid vaccines as soon as they need them.
With around 50% of AstraZeneca vaccines in Thailand now being delayed, this will leave the Thai government frantically looking for vaccines to replace them.
Vaccines that are likely to come from other manufacturers like China’s Sinovac Biotech.
With more than 45% of the United States’ population currently vaccinated against Covid, and with only 4.3% of the Thai population fully vaccinated, with the latest vaccine shortages it will be a long time before Thailand’s Covid vaccination rates are on par with much of the developed world.
What makes the current Covid-19 vaccine shortage in Thailand even worse is only 1% of senior citizens, the most vulnerable population, have received both doses, and only 3% of people deemed as ‘high risk’ have received theirs.