The Covid vaccine manufactured by British pharmaceutical AstraZeneca was the first company to acquire approval from the Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be distributed in Thailand.
FDA Secretary-gen Paisarn Dunkum said on Thursday the approval was granted to AstraZeneca after examining more than 10,000 pages of documents filed by the British company.
This means that Thai health agencies and hospitals can start to import vaccines from AstraZeneca although Paisarn said officials from the Department of Medical Sciences will still have to conduct random tests on the vaccines once they arrived before being distributed to the public.
Paisarn added that the first shipment from AstraZeneca is due to arrive in February, consisting of 50,000 doses. Additional shipments of up to 150,000 doses in total, will follow in March and April, he said.
The remaining millions of doses needed for nationwide distribution will subsequently be manufactured under an agreement with AstraZeneca, by Siam Bioscience, a Thai pharmaceutical company wholly owned by the Royals.
Paisarn estimated that the first batch of coronavirus made by Siam Bioscience will be available by May this year.
Meanwhile, the FDA has yet to approve the vaccine developed by Sinovac pharmaceutical from China. Officials have previously said 2 million doses from Sinovac will first be distributed to frontline health workers and vulnerable populations in the five ‘high-risk’ provinces.
Source: Khaosod English
(Photo: Dado Ruvic/REUTERS)