Legal Updates for May 2021

Guide on COVID-19 Vaccination: Regulatory Issue

COVID-19, the disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has spread across the globe causing severe economic and social disruption worldwide. While the world continues to see the detrimental effects of COVID-19, it also begins to welcome the unfolding global endeavour of vaccine development and deployment. The global pharmaceutical industry has announced its commitment towards developing vaccines for COVID-19, and several vaccines have since been authorised by various national regulatory authorities for public use, with vaccinations taking place in several countries across Southeast Asia.

This quick guide explores the various regulatory issues arising in different parts of Southeast Asia, briefly covering vaccine registration and administration, as well as each country's regulatory framework, as of 20 April 2021.

COVID-19: Further Postponement of Implementation Deadline for Personal Data Protection Act

On 8 May 2021, the Royal Decree Prescribing an Entity and Business in which the Data Controller is Exempted from the Personal Data Protection Act B.E. 2562 (No. 2) B.E. 2564 was published in the Government Gazette. As a result, the previous one-year long postponement of the effective date of key operative provisions of the Personal Data Protection Act B.E. 2562 (2019) ("PDPA") have been further postponed from 1 June 2021 to 1 June 2022.

The rationale for the further postponement is the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and its significant impact on entities and businesses in both the private and public sectors across the country, which has delayed the PDPA readiness of many. When combined with the need to utilise advanced technology to implement the PDPA provisions, it was deemed reasonable to extend the period of enforcement of full implementation of the PDPA until 1 June 2022. This Update provides a brief overview of key provisions of the PDPA.