Thailand receives requests to register AstraZeneca, Sinovac vaccines

FILE PHOTO: A researcher works inside a laboratory at the National Primate Research Center of Chulalongkorn University during the development of an mRNA type vaccine candidate for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Saraburi province, Thailand, June 22, 2020. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand has received applications from AstraZeneca and Sinovac Biotech to register their COVID-19 vaccines for use in the country, the food and drug agency said on Tuesday.

Thailand previously ordered 63 million vaccine doses from the two companies, which would be enough to inoculate nearly half of its 70 million population.

Two million doses will be from Sinovac, which is expected to deliver its first 200,000 doses next month. The rest will be the AstraZeneca and Oxford University vaccine, which would be produced by Thai firm Siam Bioscience for local use and export.

The vaccine will need to undergo various safety assessments to be registered in Thailand, and once approved, they can be bought by private hospitals, said Food and Drug Administration secretary-general, Paisal Dunkhum.

“We’re processing AstraZeneca’s request, which is expected to be approved soon,” Paisal said in a statement on Tuesday, without specifying a target date.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said after a weekly cabinet meeting that everyone in the country would get the chance to be inoculated.

“I confirm that every Thai will be vaccinated,” Prayuth said.

Thailand reported 287 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections to 10,834 since it detected its first case almost a year ago. It has recorded 67 coronavirus-related fatalities so far.

Reporting by Patpicha Tanakasempipat and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by Martin Petty