Monday, June 14, 2021

in-focus

Over-60s in Thailand to get Sinovac vaccine


China’s Sinovac vaccine will be administered to people aged over 60 in Thailand, said Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul after presiding over a National Communicable Disease Committee meeting on Friday.

The committee also approved minimum fines of THB1,000 for not wearing a face mask in public.

“The committee approved the proposal to give Sinovac vaccine to people aged over 60 who meet medical requirements, as studies by Chinese authorities support the vaccine’s suitability [for people in this age group],” he said. “The ministry will send the documents to the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] to proceed with registration of Sinovac vaccine for people over 60 in Thailand.”

Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, Disease Control Department director-general, added that the committee also approved a minimum fine for people who violate the Communicable Disease Act by not wearing face masks in public as per the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) order covering all 77 provinces from May 1.

Violation of the Act carries a maximum penalty of THB20,000.

“The committee agreed that the minimum fine should start at Bt1,000 for the first offence,” he said. “Repeated offences will result in an increase to Bt10,000 and subsequent offences will be penalised by fines of Bt10,000 to Bt20,000.”

Opas added that the fines are just a framework and subject to adjustment.

“We set these amounts not because we expect to earn money from violators. We just want people to conduct themselves in accordance with the outbreak situation,” he said, adding that the fines may be reduced or waived on a case-by-case basis subject to circumstance and the violator’s financial status.

The 3.5 million doses of Sinovac shipped to Thailand so far have mainly been administered to medical workers.

Published : May 07, 2021

By : THE NATION