COVID-19 Vaccine Roll Outs in ASEAN & Asia – Live Updates by Country

Posted: 26th March 2021 15:17

ASEAN Coronavirus Updates (Live Updates by Country)


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 on-going with other suppliers.   


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.  


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.  


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


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. 


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.   


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. 


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.     


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.   


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.

Other Asian Countries and Regions


Afghanistan faces two pandemics at the same time, Covid-19 and Polio. UNICEF is currently embarking on an urgent Polio vaccination program while the country is in talks with both China and Russia oversupplying COVID-19 vaccines. Government-imposed lockdowns increased conflict with the Taliban, and an overall lack of awareness of the disease has prevented many Afghani’s from obtaining treatment of either. 


Bangladesh will receive 68 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Gavi, which is committed to ensuring at least 20 percent of populations are inoculated. Each complete dose will cost about 200 Taka (US$2). The country is also in discussions with India concerning a further 30 million doses from the Serum Institute at about 450 Taka (US$5). Vaccinations are expected to commence in Q1 2021.     


Bahrain has begun COVID-19 vaccinations for front line personnel using a joint Chinese-UAE Sinopharm product. Roll out among the general population is expected in Q1 2021.  


For specific updates concerning China, please click here.

For a complete overview of China’s vaccine availability please go here.

East Timor

East Timor is receiving assistance from the Gavi Institute.  

Hong Kong

Hong Kong will provide COVID-19 vaccines free to all residents, with a vaccine being delivered in stages. The government has said it may take most of 2021 to reach 100 percent coverage for all citizens.  


For a complete overview of India’s vaccine availability please go here.


Iran is jointly producing a COVID-19 vaccine with Russia, and the product has entered trials. National inoculation is expected to commence in September 2021.   


Iraq is currently in discussions with US company Pfizer concerning supplies of a COVID-19 vaccine. Supplies are expected in Q2 2021. 


Japan is sourcing 145 million doses of vaccine from the United States and the UK and will be delivering them free of charge to all citizens commencing Q1 2021. 


Jordan is sourcing vaccines from Pfizer and expects to commence vaccinations from Q1 2021. 


Kazakhstan has been developing its own vaccines with ‘Quazcovid’ being admitted by the WHO as a safe candidate. These are currently undergoing trials with a roll out expected in Q2 2021.  


All citizens, including expatriates, will receive COVID-19 vaccines for free. Kuwait is importing one million vaccines from Pfizer, 1.7 million from Moderna, and three million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines and will commence a nationwide program from January.


Kyrgyzstan is sourcing vaccines from Russia with the Sputnik V vaccine expected to be rolled out in Q2 2021. 


Lebanon is sourcing vaccines from Pfizer and is expected to take deliveries from mid-February 2021.  


Macao is part of the Covax scheme and is expected to receive 1.4 million doses of vaccine. The product will cost Pataca 300 (US$40). Roll out is expected in late Q1 2021.   


The Maldives will receive vaccines under the Covax program and will receive enough products to reach 20 percent of its population. Roll out is expected in Q2 2021.  


Mongolia is in discussions with Astra-Zeneca to purchase COVID-19 vaccines and is also part of the Covax scheme. Roll out is expected in Q2 2021. 


Nepal will source COVID-19 vaccines under the Covax program and will also purchase supplies from India. The rollout is expected from Q2 2021.  

North Korea

North Korea is expected to receive Covid-19 vaccines from China, with rumors that North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un has already received treatment as part of medical trials.  


Oman has sourced COVID-19 vaccines from Gavi and is buying additional supplies from Astra-Zeneca and Pfizer. Roll out will commence from January 2021 with each shot costing 10 Rial (US$24).    


Pakistan is also suffering from a Polio epidemic and is struggling with dealing with both. However, it has stated it will provide the vaccine for free with national inoculations to start from April 2021. 


Israel is currently negotiating with the UAE to provide 1.5 million doses of vaccine to Palestine. The product is expected to be the Russian Sputnik V treatment and should be available to Palestinians in Q2 2021.   


Qatar has signed an agreement with Moderna to provide Covid-19 vaccines and has also signed deals with Pfizer and BioNTech. These will be made available from late Q1 2021. 


A complete overview of the availability and production of Russian Covid-19 vaccines and costs can be found here.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries and Medical Appliances Corp. (SPIMACO) said last week that it had signed an agreement with the German biopharmaceutical company CureVac to provide Covid-19 vaccine. It plans to cover 70 percent of its population by the end of 2021 with treatment being available for free. The initial roll out is expected to be at the end of Q1 2021. 

South Korea

South Korea has reached a deal with AstraZeneca to purchase its coronavirus vaccine candidate and is in final talks with global drug-makers including AstraZeneca, Pfizer Inc, and Johnson & Johnson over their vaccines. It launched a preliminary review of AstraZeneca’s product in October for potential fast-track approval. Roll out is expected in Q1 2021. 

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is to receive 4.2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Gavi, enough to cover 20 percent of the population. It has not yet released information on when these will be made available.    


Taiwan has been developing its own vaccine and is also part of the Covax scheme. It has stated it will be able to manufacture enough of its own product for 50 percent population coverage with roll-out expected in Q1 2021.  


Turkey has purchased 50 million doses of China’s Cornavac, manufactured by Sinopharm. These will be made available for free to the most at-risk population, inoculations start on December 11. Other treatments will be purchased and made available via medical outlets during the year and sold at cost price, and are likely to include products from Pfizer and Russia.   

United Arab Emirates

The UAE is expected to authorize the use of China’s Sinopharm vaccine which is nearing the end of its clinical trials in the Emirates.  The UAE’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was inoculated as part of the testing. Roll out is expected in Q1 2021. The UAE is also manufacturing the vaccine and hopes to produce between 75-100 million doses during the year.  


Uzbekistan has been trailing China’s Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical vaccine in addition to vaccines made by China’s Sinopharm and Russia’s Sputnik V. Roll out is expected in Q1 2021. 


Yemen is suffering from war and diseases such as diphtheria, while local politicians have made wild claims that the country will develop its own COVID-19 vaccine. It is a member of the Gavi program and relief is likely to come from humanitarian sources.   

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