Pattaya officials say they have funds to purchase coronavirus vaccines directly once they’re approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration.
Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome said Jan. 13 that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha gave local governments the green light to directly order vaccines from international suppliers to supplement expected allocations from the Health Ministry starting next month.
The government earlier said it had secured 2 million doses of a vaccine produced by China’s Sinovac Biotech and plans to administer it to medical workers, seniors, and vulnerable members of the public with pre-existing conditions.
More doses from China and from AstraZeneca in Europe will come in the spring, with Thailand reserving a total of 63 million doses, which will only be enough to vaccinate less than half Thailand’s population of 66.5 million.
Sonthaya said the city has funds it can use to purchase some vaccines, although how many doses and the timetable to do so is unknown.
The first step is for the FDA to approve the two viruses. Both Sinovac and AstraZeneca have applied for registration with the FDA.
The mayor said the city is studying the ordering process. Meanwhile, it is compiling data for the Health Ministry on who qualifies to receive the first doses and planning the logistics of the immunization campaign.