PM says 150m jabs will be used to vaccinate whole country – foreigners included
Thailand will acquire a total 150 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to fully inoculate the whole country starting with high-risk groups, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha revealed on Wednesday.
“The priority goal from June is to administer the first of the two doses [to as many people as possible] since we know this will greatly reduce the chance of infection and severity of symptoms," said the PM, as he visited a vaccination station at Central Plaza Ladprao shopping mall in Bangkok.
Thailand’s vaccination rollout has got off to a sluggish start, with barely 1.6 million of more than 16 million at-risk people registering for a jab so far.
After targeting outbreaks in Samut Sakhon and Bangkok’s Klong Toei this month, the vaccination drive will widen to the at-risk group of people over 60 and those with chronic health conditions, in June. Meanwhile, frontline workers including delivery staff, public transport workers, salespeople and tourism and restaurant workers would also be prioritised for jabs in order to aid rapid economic recovery, Prayut said.
Vaccination would then be opened to the general public, he added.
Fourteen vaccination stations have been set up in Bangkok with another 11 to follow, in a model that will be expanded to other provinces soon.
Prayut also reiterated that the vaccination rollout will also cover all foreigners residing in Thailand. The country will acquire another 50 million doses to take the total to 150 million. Two doses each are needed to inoculate all of Thailand’s 70 million residents.
The government expects Siam Bioscience to begin producing 10 million doses of locally made AstraZeneca vaccine monthly by June.
“The government will cooperate with all parties to work against time to protect all Thais from Covid-19 in this constantly changing situation, said the prime minister. “There may be new and more virulent variants, so I encourage everyone to get vaccinated against Covid-19 to get Thailand out of the crisis and strengthen the economy again,” he added.