AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing partner in Southeast Asia has missed a delivery target in Thailand and shipments to other countries in the region have been delayed, as reported by livemint.com.
Thailand was set to receive 6 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine in June but health authorities said this week they would be distributing only around 3.5 million of those shots this month. Officials appear to be making up the shortfall with millions of shots from China’s Sinovac Biotech.
Shipments of shots made by AstraZeneca’s Bangkok-based partner Siam Bioscience to Malaysia and the Philippines have also been delayed.
The Philippines now expects a batch of nearly 1.2 million AstraZeneca shots to be shipped in mid-July. In Malaysia, authorities say they are working to resolve the issues around the delivery schedule, which the government stated in May would see 610,000 doses arrive from Thailand in June and another 410,000 in July.
Thailand is also allowing regional health authorities to extend the interval between Astrazeneca doses to 16 weeks, from 10 to 12 weeks, though officials say the move is to optimize the shot’s effectiveness and not for lack of supply.
The nation has also ordered 20 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and is in talks to receive 5 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine as it continues to expect deliveries from Siam Bioscience.
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