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20 million AZ doses needed to reopen country, health expert says

Thailand can safely reopen, a health expert said on Monday.

Dr Vijj Kasemsup, a community-based health programme expert at Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, said 10 million AstraZeneca doses were required in both September and October to prevent deaths in vulnerable elderly, pregnant and chronically ill people. He warned of a crisis if the uncertainty over vaccine supplies continued through the next two months.

Thailand’s vaccination rollout has been hit by shortages after AstraZeneca said it could only deliver 5-6 million doses per month. The government is reportedly considering whether to block exports from Siam Bioscence, the local company tasked with manufacturing AstraZeneca for the region.

Academics say current data indicates infections will fall among all groups next month.

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