By The Nation
The country last week signed a Bt6-billion deal to buy 26 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine to immunise 13 million people.
The vaccine will first have to pass safety and quality checks applied by the Thai Food and Drug Administration and Department of Medical Sciences under the Public Health Ministry, said DDC director-general Opas Karnkawinpong.
Secondly, the DDC will prepare vaccination centres at more than 10,000 subdistrict health promotion hospitals nationwide to reach communities quickly and prevent crowding in large hospitals. A cold-chain transport system to maintain vaccine quality is now being prepared, and officials are being trained for the mass vaccination programme. The first to be called for registration will be medical staff, young children, the elderly, and vulnerable groups.
Local health authorities will then summon registered participants for vaccination at health promotion hospitals or mobile health units.
The vaccinations will begin in May 2021, according the DDC action plan.
A programme to monitor any adverse side effects will run from July until January 2022.
A public information campaign will also explain that groups with high natural immunity don’t need to be vaccinated right away.
Opas confirmed that vaccination will be provided free of charge by the government. Private hospitals can source their own vaccine supply, he added.