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28 May, 2021 08:40

Thailand approves Chinese Sinopharm coronavirus jab, importing a million doses in June

Thailand approves Chinese Sinopharm coronavirus jab, importing a million doses in June

China’s Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for emergency use in Thailand, becoming the fifth to be adopted by the country. Some one million doses are expected to be imported in June.

The approval of the new jab was announced by Thailand’s food and drug regulator on Friday.

“The FDA has approved the Sinopharm vaccine,” a senior official, Paisan Dankhum, told a news conference.

The drug is the fifth coronavirus jab to have been adopted by the country. It joined another Chinese-made shot, CoronaVac, and vaccines by AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, all of which are already in use in the country. Some one million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine are expected to arrive in Thailand in June.

“As far as we have coordinated, we've agreed to one million doses in June,” Nithi Mahanonda, secretary-general of the Chulabhorn Royal Academy teaching hospital has said.

Despite the large number of vaccines now approved for emergency use in Thailand, the inoculation program has proceeded slowly. As of last Sunday, some three million shots had been distributed, according to figures by the World Health Organization. Given the population of nearly 70 million, this is sufficient to fully vaccinate only around 2% of the population.

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At the same time, Thailand has been relatively mildly affected by the pandemic, with only some 141,000 cases and 920 deaths registered. However, in recent weeks, it has experienced a spike in Covid-19, with new daily cases nearly reaching the 5,000 mark. In late May, however, the daily increase took a downward turn, with the surge appearing to have lost its momentum.

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