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.
Spokesman for the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration Taweesilp Visanuyothin said that the inoculation programme will be divided into two phases.
The first 200,000 doses set to be delivered on February 24 will be delivered to 13 provinces with the highest infection rates, the greatest economic significance, or both.
The provinces with the highest infection rates are Samut Sakhon (a COVID-19 maximum and strict control zone) and eight provinces designated as COVID-19 control zones: Bangkok (western), Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Tak (Mae Sot district), Nakhon Pathom, Samut Songkhram and Ratchaburi.
Meanwhile, the four provinces of economic significance are Chon Buri, Phuket, Surat Thani (including Koh Samui) and Chiang Mai.
Additional 800,000 doses are expected in March and 1 million in April, he said.
AstraZeneca will deliver 26 million doses from June to August, and 35 million doses from September to December.
As of February 23, Thailand recorded 95 new infections, bringing the total COVID-19 cases in the nation to 25,599./.