Southeast Asia is on the Coronavirus Vaccine Hunt | Covid19- Update

by Huyen Nguyen
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Update until June 11, 2021
Due to the developing situation of the Covid-19 in  Southeast Asia, we will be operating this article as a running live update service to keep businesses involved in Southeast Asia updated with the latest relevant regional news.

Brunei
Brunei has joined the global Covax scheme and is expecting to have the COVID-19 vaccine in Q1 2021, having sourced enough supplies to cover 50% of the population. Discussions are ongoing with other suppliers.

Brunei reported two new cases on June 8, bringing the total to 246 cases amid three deaths.
Brunei recorded two new cases on June 1, taking the total to 244 cases amid three deaths.
Brunei reported one new case on May 31, taking the total to 242 cases amid three deaths.

Cambodia
Cambodia is expected to import vaccines from both China and Russia. China’s vaccines are still undergoing clinical trials while Russia has already commenced production. Australia has offered financial support to aid vaccine coverage in several southeast Asia countries including Cambodia.

Cambodia reported 426 new cases and 11 deaths on June 10, bringing the tallies to 36,666 cases and 300 deaths.
Cambodia recorded 729 new cases and 11 deaths on June 9, taking the totals to 36,240 cases and 289 deaths.
Cambodia reported 678 new cases and 12 deaths on June 8, bringing the tallies to 35,511 cases and 278 deaths.

Indonesia
Indonesia has commenced vaccinations with just over nine million doses being given to front line workers from last month. China’s Sinovac is in discussions with Indonesia to provide supplies, however, the Government faces difficulties with a large population of 268 million and price sensitivity at Sinovac’s estimated costs at 200,000 rupiah (US$20) a dose. Indonesia’s Health Ministry’s Disease Control and Prevention Director-General Achmad Yurianto said that vaccinations would only be provided to citizens aged 18-59. The vaccine has also been required to pass halal certification prior to use and it is uncertain how the country can source enough vaccines to reach a sizeable part of its population. Australia has stated it will also provide financial support to solve these issues.
Indonesia recorded 8,892 new cases and 211 deaths on June 10, bringing the totals to 1,885,942 cases and 52,373 deaths.
Indonesia recorded 7,725 new cases and 170 deaths on June 9, taking the tallies to 1,877,050 cases and 52,162 deaths.
Indonesia recorded 6,294 new cases and 189 deaths on June 8, bringing the totals to 1,869,325 cases and 51,992 deaths.

Laos
Laos has been trialling the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and is also in discussions with China about acquiring supplies.

Laos reported one new case on June 9, bringing the total to 1,971 amid three deaths.
Laos saw two new cases on June 8, taking the total to 1,970 cases amid three deaths.
Laos reported five new cases on June 7, taking the total to 1,968 amid three deaths.

Malaysia
Malaysia is to provide vaccines free of charge to its nationals, but foreigners will need to pay for the treatment, according to the Malaysian Minister of Health, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who has signed a deal with Pfizer for 12.8 million doses. These will be administered in two stages of 6.4 million people each, with the program to commence in Q1 2021. The country aims to inoculate between 80-100% of its citizens.

Malaysia reported 5,671 new cases and 73 deaths on June 10, bringing the totals to 639,562 cases and 3,684 deaths.
Malaysia reported 6,239 new cases and 75 deaths on June 9, bringing the tallies to 633,891 cases and 3,611 deaths.
Malaysia saw 5,566 new cases and 76 deaths on June 8, taking the totals to 627,652 cases and 3,536 deaths.

Myanmar
Myanmar is seeking assistance from the Gavi and Covax programs to acquire vaccines, while Australia is also providing financial relief. At present, the Government aims to treat 20 percent of the ‘most at risk’ in the country with vaccines. The Government is struggling with finances and logistics and is also under US sanctions, while cases are surging. The Government has banned the celebration of Christmas and other seasonal celebrations.

Myanmar reported 161 new cases and four deaths on June 10, taking the totals to 144,876 cases and 3,237 deaths.
Myanmar reported 136 new cases and five deaths on June 9, bringing the tallies to 144,715 cases and 3,233 deaths.
Myanmar saw 123 new cases and one death on June 8, taking the totals to 144,579 cases and 3,228 deaths.

Philippines
The Philippines aims to commence vaccinations from June 2021 and expects to inoculate about 25 million people (about 25 percent of its population) over the course of the year. The country has been badly affected by the virus and has the second-highest rate in Southeast Asia. The business community has reacted, more than 30 local companies signed an agreement to purchase at least 2.6 million vaccine doses from AstraZeneca in the country’s first such deal to secure coronavirus vaccines, ten days ago. They plan to donate a large part of the doses to the government for its planned vaccination program and use the rest to inoculate their employees.

The Philippines recorded 7,485 new cases and 122 deaths on June 10, taking the totals to 1,293,687 cases and 22,312 deaths.
The Philippines reported 5,462 new cases and 126 deaths on June 9, bringing the tallies to 1,286,217 cases and 22,190 deaths.
The Philippines saw 4,777 new cases and 95 deaths on June 8, taking the totals to 1,280,773 cases and 22,064 deaths.

Singapore
Singapore has been working on producing its own ‘Lunar’ vaccine, in a joint venture between the US company Arcturus together with the Duke-NUS medical school. It is a single dose, mRNA shot, developed from genetically engineering COVID-19 genes into an otherwise harmless virus. This technique is marginally safer than other vaccines which rely on dead Covid-19 material to provoke an immune response. The vaccine is expected to be available from Q1 2021. High-risk personnel will receive the vaccine first in a process to be determined by the government.

Singapore recorded 13 new cases on June 10, taking the total to 62,236 cases amid 34 deaths.
Singapore reported four new cases on June 9, bringing the total to 62,223 cases amid 34 deaths.
Singapore saw nine new cases and one death on June 8, taking the total to 62,219 cases and 34 deaths.

Thailand
Thailand is currently expecting vaccines to be delivered in mid-2021. The doses would cover 13 million people in a population of about 69 million. Thailand’s National Vaccine Institute signed a non-refundable advance market commitment contract worth 2.38 billion baht (US$79 million) with AstraZeneca to reserve the supplies. Discussions are also on-going with Oxford University in the UK to secure a vaccine that could be available in Q1 if trials are completed in time.

Thailand reported 2,310 new cases and 43 deaths on June 10, taking the totals to 187,538 cases and 1,375 deaths.
Thailand recorded 2,680 new cases and 35 deaths on June 9, bringing the tallies to 185,228 cases and 1,332 deaths.
Thailand recorded 2,662 new cases and 28 deaths on June 8, taking the totals to 182,548 cases and 1,297 deaths.

Vietnam
Vietnam’s National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE), a division of Vietnam’s Ministry of Health, has signed an agreement with Medigen Vaccine, a Taipei, Taiwan-based vaccine company to secure the supply of 3 million to 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in 2021. Medigen is currently conducting Phase II studies of the vaccine, co-developed with the USA’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), in Taiwan and Vietnam with a view to a Q1 2021 rollout.

Vietnam is also working on producing its own vaccine, with the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) in Nha Trang City, partnering with New York City-based Icahn School of Medicine and the global health non-profit organization PATH. Phase 1 trials are already underway in Vietnam, while Phases 2 & 3 will be conducted at the beginning of 2021. The institute plans to submit documents for approval to the health ministry as early as April next year and claims to be capable of producing 30 million doses a year, expecting that a national vaccine could be distributed to the general population in October 2021.

As of June 11, 2021, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 9,809 cases of COVID-19. However, 3,708 of the affected patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals. Vietnam has also recorded 55 deaths due to the pandemic. The latest community transmission cases have been reported from Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, Ho Chi Minh City, and Ha Tinh.
As of June 10, 2021, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 9,723 cases of COVID-19. However, 3,636 of the affected patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals. Vietnam has also recorded 55 deaths due to the pandemic. The latest community transmission cases have been reported from Ho Chi Minh City, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, and Ha Tinh.
As of June 9, 2021, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 9,505 cases of COVID-19. However, 3,547 of the affected patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals. Vietnam has also recorded 55 deaths due to the pandemic. The latest community transmission cases have been reported from Bac Giang and Bac Ninh.
Source: Vietnam

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