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Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha (C) and James Teague (2nd R), president of AstraZeneca in Thailand. Photo: Chalinee Thirasupa/AFP via Getty Images

Thailand and the Philippines announced separately on Friday that they secured deals with AstraZeneca to receive supplies of the company's coronavirus vaccine.

The state of play: These announcements come a day after AstraZeneca said the company will likely conduct a new global trial to measure the vaccine's efficacy.

  • Experts have been questioning the company's vaccine since it was announced that it was 90% effective in people who got a half-dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.
  • AstraZeneca later acknowledged that the half-dose version was a mistake.

Thai health officials signed a $200 million deal for 26 million doses, which would cover 13 million people in a population of about 69 million, per AP.

  • Thailand has a total of 3,961 cases with 60 deaths, but the pandemic has badly hurt the country's economy, which largely depends on tourism.

In the Philippines, over 30 private companies signed an agreement to purchase 2.6 million shots, with a large part being donated to the government, per AP.

  • The supply is expected to cover 1 million people in a population of about 108 million, according to the Bangkok Post. The Philippines has a total of 425,918 confirmed cases with 8,255 deaths.
  • The country is seeking 20-50 million doses from China's Sinovac and Pfizer among others, and it’s targeting about 60 million Filipinos to be vaccinated against the virus over about two years starting next year.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Jan 23, 2021 - Health

Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden's plan to accelerate the reopening of K-8 schools faces major challenges from a still out-of-control pandemic and more contagious coronavirus variants.

Why it matters: The longer American kids miss in-person schooling, the further they fall behind. But the uncertain state of the science on the role young children play in the pandemic continues to complicate efforts to reopen schools.

Latest James Bond movie release delayed for third time

An advertisement poster featuring Daniel Craig in the new James Bond movie "No Time to Die" in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: Mladen Antonov/AFP via Getty Images

The release of the latest James Bond film, "No Time to Die," has been postponed for the third time as the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate Hollywood.

The state of play: The film's release, initially scheduled for April 2020, was first postponed to November 2020, and then to April 2021. MGM said this week that movie's global debut will now be delayed until Oct. 8.