BANGKOK, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said Tuesday that the government will only allow public hospitals to use imported COVID-19 vaccines in the initial stage of the vaccination program.
Thai people will be vaccinated only by public hospitals and public health units in the initial stage, during which no private hospitals will be allowed to do so for health safety reasons, Prayut said.
However, Prayut said private hospitals are allowed to import vaccines and reserve them for future use.
All imported vaccines for use either by government agencies or private sectors must obtain prior permission from both the health authorities in the vaccine-manufacturing countries and Thailand's Food and Drug Administration, he said.
Thailand has ordered 63 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and is scheduled to start vaccination next month. The first shipment of 200,000 doses of vaccines, developed by China's pharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech, is expected to arrive in February. Enditem