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Bangkok Post
Bangkok Post

Germany donates bivalent Covid-19 jabs

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, sixth from left, presides over a ceremony to receive 999,360 doses of a bivalent Covid-19 vaccine from German ambassador Georg Schmidt, third from right. The vaccine will be distributed to hospitals across the country. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The Ministry of Public Health has received almost one million doses of the bivalent Covid-19 vaccine from Germany, which it plans to distribute to hospitals across the country in the next few weeks.

The donation was received by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul at a ceremonial handover at the German embassy on Thursday, which was led by Germany's ambassador to Thailand, Georg Schmidt. In total, 999,360 doses of bivalent Covid-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer were handed over to the Thai government.

Mr Anutin thanked the German government, saying the donation reflects the friendly relations between the two countries, which have gone on for over 160 years.

Throughout the pandemic, Germany has extended its assistance to Thailand in an effort to bring Covid-19 cases under control across the wider Asean region. This assistance includes a donation of 2,000 courses of casirivimab/imdevimab, 346,100 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, four freezing containers and 51,000 injection needles.

"It is very generous and helps us strengthen our vaccine security. Next, the government will inspect the vaccines' quality as required by our law before distributing them to hospitals within this month," he said.

He noted that while Covid-19 is no longer considered a public health emergency, the disease still exists so the World Health Organization (WHO) continues to recommend repeated vaccinations to maintain a high level of immunity, especially those aged over 60 and living with chronic disease.

The ministry is also recommending the public receive a Covid-19 booster shot annually, along with the seasonal flu vaccine. The booster will stimulate the immune system and reduce the chance of developing severe symptoms, he said.

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