By The Nation
The government had earlier scheduled February 14 as the first day of vaccination.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul, who attended the National Vaccine Committee meeting on Thursday, stated that they had discussed the management of 50,000 doses of Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccine. He said that it was not clear when the vaccine would arrive in Thailand, but it may affect the scheduled launch on February 14. However, he expected the vaccine to arrive in Thailand in February despite uncertainty over transportation and the EU restrictions on export of vaccines.
The first batch of AstraZeneca vaccine for Thailand is being made in Italy. If the European Commission decided to block the export, the vaccine may arrive by June since the contract with AstraZeneca stated that the vaccines would be completely delivered by June, Anutin said.
"Thailand has requested an amendment to the contract to deliver the first lot of 50,000 doses, and then another 100,000 doses”, Anutin emphasised.
Nakorn Premsri, director of the National Vaccine Institute (NVI), said the institute has coordinated with Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth) to prepare data about AstraZeneca's vaccine, in particular, providing information on side-effects that may occur, preparation and post-injection, for public and target groups to receive correct information before making a decision.
Sopon Mekthon, chairman of the Covid-19 Immunisation Administration Subcommittee, said the board had added obese people among the first groups to be considered for vaccination as well as various chronic disease groups due to the same risk. However, it depends on the patient's willingness.