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Thailand approves Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine

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BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand has granted emergency authorisation to Janssen, the single-dose coronavirus vaccine of Johnson & Johnson, the country’s health minister said on Thursday, the third vaccine to be cleared for local use.

Anutin Charnvirankul told reporters the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved the vaccine, in addition to those of AstraZeneca and Sinovac Biotech, which have already been administered in the country.

J&J’s vaccine is called COVID Vaccine Janssen after the J&J unit that developed it.

China’s Sinopharm and the makers of Russia’s Sputnik V and are preparing to submit requests for approval, Paisal Dunkhum head of Thailand’s FDA said.

Moderna has said it would submit an application for approval while India’s Bharat Biotech is in the process submitting documents for vaccine registration, Paisal said.

Thailand, which has recorded just over 28,000 coronavirus cases overall, has administered about 100,000 doses of vaccines among medical workers and high-risk groups so far.

It’s main vaccine drive is expected to start in June, using locally-produced AstraZeneca shots and it plans to inoculate half of its adult population by the end of the year.

Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by Martin Petty

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