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Thailand FDA approves Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Thailand cleared Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot Covid-19 vaccine for local emergency use, the third manufacturer to win the approval.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the shots on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said in a post on Facebook.

Vaccines manufactured by AstraZeneca and Sinovac Biotech were previously approved and are being used in the national inoculation programme.

The approval showed that Thailand is open to all vaccine manufacturers and is keen to provide more choices to its people, Mr Anutin said.

Bharat Biotech International Ltd has submitted some documents for approval, while Russia’s Sputnik V, China’s Sinopharm and Moderna Inc have shown interest in seeking local approvals, according to Paisarn Dunkum, secretary general of the regulator.

So far, more than 5,800 are fully vaccinated and 96,000 more have received their first shots.

Thai private firms and hospitals keen to administer the locally approved vaccines can register with the Department of Disease Control, Mr Paisarn said on Thursday, adding that the government hasn’t ordered any shots from Johnson & Johnson.

The government has so far approved plans to purchase a total of 63 million and is in talks to procure an additional 5 million doses from Sinovac, according to officials. It aims to inoculate at least 50% of the nation’s population before the end of 2021.

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