Thai FDA expected to approve AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use

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In the midst of a new wave of Covid-19 infections, the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is expected to be approved for emergency use and injections could begin next month.

The local roll out would start with vulnerable groups who are in the 5 coastal provinces under maximum control to contain the coronavirus – Samut Sakhon, Trat, Chon Buri, Chanthaburi and Rayong.

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve the vaccine for emergency use this week. The FDA is examining documents as part of the registration process and to declare the vaccine’s efficacy and safety, according to the Ministry of Public Health’s Disease Control Department director general Opas Karnkawinpong.

Thailand had earlier secured 26 million doses of the vaccine, which is developed by British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and the UK’s Oxford University. The Thai company Siam Bioscience is set to produce the AstraZeneca vaccine. Injections for the general public are projected to start in the second half of 2021.

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Since the latest wave of coronavirus infections, starting with the outbreak at a Samut Sakhon seafood market last month, Thailand also secured 2 million doses of China’s Sinovac BioTech vaccine. The first batch of 200,000 doses is expected to arrive next month. 800,000 more doses will arrive in March and 1 million doses in April.

“At risk” groups in the 5 coastal provinces with maximum disease control measures will receive the vaccine first. Those provinces are Samut Sakhon, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat. People over 60 years old and those with chronic illnesses are given top priority.

With reports in Norway of elderly, highly frail recipients dying sometime after getting the Pfizer-BioTech vaccine, Thai health officials are insisting that only vaccines that are proven will be safe will be administered to Thai people.

Opas says that after vaccination, the health officials will follow up with recipients at least 4 weeks after injection to record and investigate any allergic reactions or complications.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Caitlin Ashworth

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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