BANGKOK – Following Cabinet approval of an additional 3 billion baht to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to the public, the Minister of Public Health has given an affirmation that the first batch of vaccines will arrive this month barring issues with delivery.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Chanvirakul, indicated on Wednesday that high level executives of the Health Ministry have instructed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to fully facilitate registration of the COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in accordance with standards set by its producers, so that administering it to the public may begin as soon as possible. He explained that if there are no issues with exporting the vaccine out of China, the first batch should arrive in Thailand in February. The Government Pharmaceutical Organization has prepared pertinent documentation requested by producers to secure export authorization from China.
Permanent Secretary for Public Health Dr. Kiattiphum Wongrajit, also mentioned that 50,000 doses of vaccine from AstraZeneca requested by the National Vaccine Institute have met with issues in the EU, but indicated that hope remains that delivery will take place as scheduled. He added that despite concerns over the unregistered Sinovac vaccine, inoculations could still be approved by the FDA for emergency use. (NNT)