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AstraZeneca vaccine to arrive this month, despite EU export restrictions – Public Health Ministry

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PHOTO: Lex18

While there’s no exact date on the arrival of Covid-19 vaccines, the Public Health Ministry is assuring the public that the first order of the AstraZeneca vaccine will arrive this month, despite the European Union’s restrictions on Covid-19 vaccine exports. The National Vaccine Institute is working on getting the first shipment this month, according to the ministry’s permanent secretary.

Thailand ordered doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, developed in partnership with Oxford University, and China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine, which is also expected to arrive this month. The AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for emergency use in Thailand and the first 50,000 doses, which would be shipped from Italy, are still expected to arrive this month despite the new restrictions requiring all vaccine exports to be authorised by the EU.

Since Thailand placed its order with AstraZeneca before the EU announced its restrictions on overseas vaccine exports, the order will not be affected, according to the ministry’s permanent secretary Kiattiphum Wongrajit. He added that the National Vaccine Institute is working to make sure the first shipment is delivered this month.

“The EU said clearly the suspension has not covered any order made before the announcement. We are abiding by that announcement but we still have the chance to get a vaccine shipment this month.”

In Thailand’s first phase of immunisations, the AstraZeneca vaccine will be administered to frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable groups in areas considered to be at the highest risk of Covid-19.

Thailand health officials are also expecting the first Sinovac vaccine shipment of 200,000 doses to arrive this month. However, neither the Thai nor the Chinese food and drug administrations have approved the privately-owned Sinovac vaccine.

Indonesia approved the Chinese-made vaccine, and administered the first injection in the country to President Joko Widodo last month.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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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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