Thailand admitted to International Vaccine Institute

The International Vaccine Institute has formally inducted Thailand as one of its 39 member countries, representing another advance for the Kingdom’s highly regarded public health sector. The institute works to make vaccines available to vulnerable populations in developing countries.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand has had a strong healthcare system, but little experience producing vaccines. The Kingdom’s public health officials responded to the emergency by forging an agreement with AstraZeneca of the United Kingdom to manufacture its COVID-19 vaccine in Thailand. In addition, local universities and medical researchers also began working to develop homegrown vaccines.

Upon its selection as a production site for AstraZeneca’s vaccine, the Thai government pledged that it would distribute the output to other countries in the region that needed the vaccine. After meeting those needs, it would offer it to other developing countries still seeking supplies.

That approach fits perfectly into the mission of the International Vaccine Institute.

Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul flew to Seoul, South Korea, to sign the agreement to become one of the institute’s member countries. The signing took place at the World Bio Summit 2022, organized by the Institute and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Anutin said that he was honored that Thailand met the criteria for membership. The government has made substantial investments in strengthening public health security by building its capacity for vaccine production, he added.

Thailand’s goal is to make vaccines against serious diseases available as a public service. The cooperation with the Institute, which is based in South Korea, would help fulfill that ambition, Anutin said.

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