AstraZeneca confirmed to hand over the vaccine to Southeast Asian countries soon

Thứ Sáu, 11/6/2021| 14:08

AstraZeneca announced that they are working closely with Southeast Asian countries to ensure the supply "as soon as possible" of their Covid-19 vaccine.

AstraZeneca confirmed to hand over the vaccine to Southeast Asian countries soonAstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine. (Photo: Reuters)

The statement was made after there was information about possible delays in vaccine delivery from Thailand's Siam Bioscience factory. AstraZeneca's vaccine distribution in Southeast Asia depends on 200 doses of vaccine produced by Siam Bioscience.

AstraZeneca's statement confirmed that the vaccine's distribution to Southeast Asian countries will occur in the coming weeks. The company is working closely with the relevant governments to make the vaccine available as soon as possible. 

However, the statement did not mention the capacity of the Covid-19 vaccine factory in Thailand. This is the first time Siam Bioscience has produced a vaccine. In January, Siam Bioscience estimated it could produce 200 million doses per year, equivalent to 15-20 million doses per month.

It is expected that in June, Malaysia will receive 610,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine made in Thailand and a total of 1.6 million doses this year. However, on June 9, Khairy Jamaluddin, Malaysian Science Minister, said that the reception might be delayed. 

Earlier, the Philippines also said that it had received notice from AstraZeneca about the delivery of the first batch of vaccines with 1.3 million doses, which will have to be delayed by mid-July, three weeks later than the original plan, also the amount of vaccine will be reduced to just 1.17 million doses. Delivery of the second batch of vaccines is also expected to be reduced from 1.3 million doses to 1.17 million doses, which will be pushed back from July to August. 

Even Thailand, which should have received six million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine in June, has only received 1.8 million domestically produced doses and 200,000 imported doses from South Korea.

Regarding the issue of intellectual property rights exemptions for Covid-19 vaccines, on June 10, the President of the European Council (EC) Charles Michel stated a proposal to give up intellectual property rights for a vaccine and treatment of Covid-19 is not an "easy and quick solution", hoping this proposal will be discussed at the summit of the Group of World's leading industrialized countries (G7), scheduled to take place on June 11. 

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the G7 summit, Michel emphasized: "Giving up intellectual property rights to vaccines seems like a good proposition, but it is not an easy solution".

The TRIPS Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights among all Member States of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has provided flexibility in dealing with this issue. Therefore, the EU wants to focus on specific proposals, such as promoting voluntary transfer of technology and patents, bringing together different vaccine production techniques on agreed terms.