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SVA - Sinovac Biotech News Story

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UPDATE 1-Thailand allows emergency use of Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine

Mon 22nd February, 2021 2:04pm
* Sinovac vaccine to be administered to health workers
    * Thailand has yet to start immunising for COVID-19
    * PM says restrictions to be eased
    * Thailand to rely on locally-made Astrazeneca doses

 (Recasts, adds details throughout)
    By Panarat Thepgumpanat
    BANGKOK, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Thailand Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) on Monday gave emergency use authorisation
for the COVID-19 vaccine of Sinovac Biotech  SVA.O , paving the
way for the country's first coronavirus inoculations. 
    The authorisation came just days before Thailand is set to
receive the first 200,000 of two million doses of Sinovac's
CoronaVac, its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines, which will be
given primarily to health workers. 
    "The FDA has registered Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine for
conditional emergency use, effective Feb. 22," FDA deputy
secretary-general Surachok Tangwiwat told Reuters.
    Thailand has recorded just 25,504 coronavirus cases in
total, more than four-fifths of those since December, with 89
deaths overall.     
    The government has ordered 26 million coronavirus vaccine
doses from AstraZeneca  AZN.L , and reserved a further 35
million doses from the company. 
    Astrazeneca has authorised a Thai firm to manufacture the
vaccine and it will be used for the country's mass vaccination
campaign from June. 
    Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Monday he would
personally receive the Sinovac vaccines when they arrive.
Despite Thai health authorities limiting its usage to people
under 60, Prayuth, who is 66, said he was ready for his dose. 
    He also said most remaining coronavirus restrictions would
be relaxed following a decline in new daily cases, to try to
stimulate the country's flagging, tourism-reliant economy, which
has suffered from tight limits on foreign visitors and lower
consumer confidence.
    Prayuth said measures in several provinces including Bangkok
would be eased leaving only Samut Sakhon province, the epicentre
of the latest outbreak, under the highest level of curbs. 
    The lifting of restrictions, for which Prayuth gave no
timeframe, means bars can reopen and restaurants can sell
alcohol, while schools can open again and malls can resume
normal operating hours. 
    Meanwhile, Thailand has welcomed its first group of 41
visitors from South Korea under a "golf quarantine" programme at
a course, and received 59 European visitors on a "villa
quarantine" programme at a luxury resort in Phuket. 

 (Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat; Writing by Patpicha
Tanakasempipat; Editing by Martin Petty)
 ((; +66818317884; @patpichatan;))
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