Justice minister kicks off vaccination in Covid-ravaged Thai prison system


Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin announced the vaccine rollout in Thailand’s overcrowded prisons on Thursday, where more than 22,000 inmates have tested positive for Covid-19 during the latest wave.

Somsak urged the ministry’s Department of Corrections to distribute vaccines to prisons nationwide to ensure that all officials and inmates receive jabs.

He said prisons in provinces with a high infection risk will be first on the list for vaccine delivery.

"This move aims to contain the spread of Covid-19, gain confidence among prison officials and inmates, reduce loss of life and budget, and comply with human rights," he said.

Hundreds of new cases per day in prisons across the country are driving the third wave of Covid-19 in Thailand, where mass vaccination began on Monday.

The third wave, which emerged around the start of April, accounts for more than 80 per cent of the country’s total infections and 90 per cent of deaths from Covid-19.