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COVID vaccines

Thai businesses to offer COVID shots to wealthy and companies

Country lets private sector import vaccines to supplement national scheme

A woman receives a COVID-19 vaccine in Samut Sakhon Province, where a second wave of COVID-19 infections emerged in December.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Private hospitals and drugmakers in Thailand are seeking approval from the government to import several COVID-19 vaccines independently to meet demand from wealthy Thais and companies that want to receive their choice of shots as quickly as possible.

Under the government's vaccination program that kicked off March 1, only two vaccines, made by China's Sinovac and the U.K.'s AstraZeneca, will be distributed through public hospital networks free of charge. Private businesses now want to offer fast-track inoculations for those who are willing to pay.

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