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UPDATE 1-Thailand expects up to 20 mln doses of Pfizer vaccine from July

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(Updates with health minister comments on Pfizer doses, background)

May 7 (Reuters) - Thailand's health minister said on Friday he expects the Southeast Asian country to receive 10 to 20 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during the second half of this year.

Thailand so far has received a total of 3.5 million doses of a vaccine developed by China's Sinovac Biotech and expects delivery of an additional 2.5 million doses this month.

"Pfizer is coming," health minister Anutin Charnvirankul posted on his Facebook page.

"We expect to receive 10 to 20 million doses," he wrote.

A separate statement from his party said, if conditions were met, supplies would arrive over the third and fourth quarters of the year.

Thailand has been rushing to secure additional vaccine supplies since April after seeing its deadliest wave of infections so far.

On Friday authorities reported 27 new coronavirus deaths, matching its second-highest daily rise in fatalities.

The Southeast Asian country also reported 2,044 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 78,855 since the pandemic began last year.

The total number of deaths now stands at 363.

Thailand plans to inoculate 70% of its government-estimated population of about 67 million Thais and 3 million foreign residents. (Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Chayut Setboonsarng, Editing by Ed Davies)

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