Thai regulator approves AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use, say sources

Government workers spray disinfectant at the Klong Toey fresh market after it was temporarily shut down amid the coronavirus disease outbreak in Bangkok, Thailand, January 15,2021. — Reuters pic
Government workers spray disinfectant at the Klong Toey fresh market after it was temporarily shut down amid the coronavirus disease outbreak in Bangkok, Thailand, January 15,2021. — Reuters pic

Subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on news you need to know.


BANGKOK, Jan 21 — Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use approval for the Covid-19 vaccine of AstraZeneca Plc, three health ministry sources said today.

Thailand is set to import 200,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine with the first 50,000 doses expected to arrive next month, Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said yesterday.

The three senior ministry sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to media, said the regulator had approved the AstraZeneca vaccine yesterday, applicable for a period of one year.

One of the sources said approval applied only to doses manufactured overseas.

Thailand has signed a deal with AstraZeneca to produce 26 million doses of its vaccine locally through the firm Siam Bioscience.

Thailand’s FDA has so far received registration requests for vaccines from AstraZeneca and China’s Sinovac Biotech.

It hopes to secure 63 million doses altogether and has so far ordered 2 million doses of that made by China’s Sinovac Biotech.

The approval comes as Thailand tries to contain its biggest coronavirus outbreak yet, which has seen cases triple in the pasty five weeks, albeit from a low base.

It reported 142 new infections today, taking the total to 12,795, with 71 deaths.

Bangkok authorities said today some business activities would be allowed to resume, in response to declining coronavirus infections in the capital after curbs were imposed.

Thirteen types of businesses including gyms, traditional massage services, sport facilities and bowling alley can reopen from tomorrow, but with strict health protocols. Schools, daycare centres and bars will remain closed.

A spokesman for the city government said Bangkok had received at the most 49 Covid-19 new daily patients and that number was now down to about 10.

“We have rapidly controlled the situation during this one month,” spokesman Pongsakorn Kwanmuang said. — Reuters

Related Articles