CORONAVIRUS/Thailand becomes 5th country to recognize Medigen COVID-19 vaccine
Taipei, Jan. 11 (CNA) Thailand has become the fifth country in the world to recognize the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Taiwan-based Medigen Vaccine Biologics, according to a list released by Thailand's government on Monday.
The Medigen vaccine was added to a list of eight previously recognized vaccines that will enable travelers to visit Thailand under its new tourism sandbox plan, according to the Thailand foreign ministry's Department of Consular Affairs.
The previously accepted COVID-19 vaccine brands were Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Sinopharm, Johnson & Johnson, Sputnik V, and Covaxin (a vaccine developed in India).
Under the tourism sandbox plan that began Tuesday, travelers fully vaccinated with one of the nine vaccine brands can stay in one of several designated locales, including Phuket, Phang-gna, Krabi, Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Pha-ngan, for seven days after arriving in the country.
Once the seven-day period has ended, they can then travel to other parts of Thailand.
The sandbox plan will replace Thailand's TEST & GO program, which was launched in November 2021 and suspended a month later. That program enabled travelers from low-risk countries including Taiwan, who tested negative for COVID, to avoid quarantine.
Thailand is now the fifth country around the globe that allows travelers who have received the Medigen vaccine to either enter the country or face a shorter mandatory quarantine period, after New Zealand, Palau, Indonesia, and Belize.
Medigen Vaccine Biologics said Tuesday it appreciated the Thailand government's recognition and that its main focus now was to gain EUA (emergency use authorization) approval from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Medigen is the only domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine that has received an EUA from Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration, and its rollout in Taiwan began on Aug. 23.
So far, no other country has given Medigen full or emergency use authorization.
Medigen's COVID-19 vaccine is currently undergoing a clinical trial in Paraguay and has also been chosen to take part in the Solidarity Trial Vaccines platform, an international clinical trial platform co-launched by the WHO.
Its vaccine has also passed the first hurdle in getting provisional approval for use in Australia after it was granted "provisional determination" status by the country's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in November 2021.
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