AstraZeneca is looking for vaccines for the virus-ravaged Southeast Asian region.
AstraZeneca said on Saturday that it was investigating its supply chain for extra doses of its Covid-19 vaccine for Southeast Asia, which is seeing the virus’s worst outbreak yet.
The announcement by the Anglo-Swedish firm, which manufactures its vaccine in Thailand for use in the country and in neighboring nations, comes in the aftermath of a supply crisis that has provoked widespread criticism of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-administration. Cha’s
180 million doses are expected to be produced under the conditions of AstraZeneca’s agreement with Thai authorities, with one-third going for the Thai market and the remainder for export.
According to James Teague, AstraZeneca’s agent in Thailand, the company will have supplied 11.3 million doses by the end of July.
Even though the region is dealing with a particularly vicious wave of Covid-19, exports have yet to begin.
In a “open letter to the people of Thailand,” Teague said, “We are delivering in the quickest feasible timeline, but given the gravity of the Delta variant, we are leaving no stone abandoned to accelerate supply even further.”
“We’re also investigating our global manufacturing network’s 20+ supply chains for more vaccinations for Southeast Asia, including Thailand.”
However, he warned, it was difficult to specify an exact timeframe due to a “global supply bottleneck” for Covid-19 vaccines and a shortage of the components needed to create them.
Last year, AstraZeneca gave a contract to Siam Bioscience, a company owned by King Maha Vajiralongkorn that has no experience producing vaccinations.
It was established with the goal of producing vaccinations for nine countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Reports of insufficient manufacturing or late delivery have gone unanswered by Siam Bioscience.
Thailand, on the other hand, was compelled to adjust its immunization strategy and purchase millions of doses of Chinese vaccines.
With only 5% of Thailand’s 70 million inhabitants completely vaccinated, anger is rising.
Because of strict lese majeste rules that make it unlawful to criticize the monarch, most Thais avoid discussing it openly. Those who do so face a sentence of three to fifteen years in prison.
Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, a former opposition leader and businessman, has already been charged under the law after claiming that the immunization strategy was too reliant on Siam Bioscience.
Thailand is one of a number of Southeast Asian countries that managed to keep infection rates low in 2020, but are now seeing high levels of cases due to sluggish vaccination initiatives.