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Thailand approves China's Sinovac vaccine for emergency use

N.C.N. Limited 徽标 N.C.N. Limited 2021/2/23 ,,
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A health worker collects a swab from a woman for a COVID-19 test in Samut Sakhon province, Thailand, on Dec. 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Rachen Sageamsak)

Thailand approves emergency use of China's Sinovac vaccine and will receive the first batch of doses on Wednesday. 

BANGKOK, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Thailand has approved Sinovac Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, paving the way for the country to receive its first vaccine shipment from the Chinese biopharmaceutical firm Wednesday.

The country's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the Sinovac vaccine for emergency use, and the first batch, aboard a Thai Airways International plane, is scheduled to arrive at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi international airport Wednesday morning, Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul confirmed Tuesday.

The authorization for the Sinovac vaccine will be valid for one year, according to the FAD approval letter that Anutin posted on his Facebook account.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will go to the airport to observe the delivery of the Chinese vaccine, said a government official, who requested anonymity due to lack of authority.

Prayut said Monday that he may be among the first people in the country to get vaccinated with the Sinovac vaccine.

The first Sinovac shots will be administered to at-risk groups, including medical workers, close contacts with COVID-19 patients, people with certain chronic illnesses and people aged 60 years or older, according to the Disease Control Department.

On Tuesday, Thailand's total COVID-19 caseload rose to 25,599, with more than four-fifths of the infections being detected since the new wave of outbreak erupted in mid-December.

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