Coronavirus (Covid-19)Thailand

70% of people to have first dose of Covid-19 vaccine by September – Health Minister

Photo via Facebook/กรุงเทพมหานคร โดยสำนักงานประชาสัมพันธ์

By September, 70% of the population in Thailand is expected to have received at least their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. An accelerated rollout of vaccines is expected to takeoff next month when the locally produced AstraZeneca vaccine is ready for public use.

Thailand’s Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says the government will focus on administering the first shot to the majority of the populations within the next 3 to 4 months and assures the public that doses will be available for a second shot.

“We will focus on the first shots of vaccination to meet the target of 70% of the population by September.”

As of yesterday, just over 1.5 million people had received their first dose of the vaccine while 819,961 people were fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. The population of Thailand is around 70 million people. In a previous statement, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha said the Thai government aims to vaccinate 50 million people by the end of the year.

Thailand started its national Covid-19 immunisation campaign in late February, but many doses were sent to Phuket and Koh Samui in an effort to reach herd immunity on the islands and reopen to foreign tourists by July.

Demand for a vaccine has increased amid the latest Covid-19 outbreak, said to be a more infectious strain of the virus and hitting record highs with the number of active cases nearly 40 times higher than the first wave back in March of last year.

Many have criticised the Thai government for being too slow on its nationwide vaccination programme, saying they relied too heavily on the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being produced locally by Siam Bioscience.

With the surge in Covid-19 infections and a limited number of vaccine doses, Thailand has been securing more doses from other manufacturers. The Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines are currently being administered in Thailand. The Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines are also now approved for emergency use.

70% of people to have first dose of Covid-19 vaccine by September - Health Minister | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: Reuters

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Tanutam Thawan

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

17 Comments

  1. Does this include the farangs as well?? My husband and I had confirmed appointments for first and second jab of AstraZeneca in Phuket and they have been cancelled yesterday evening without giving any reason ???

  2. Well that’s a big statement because as we speak only 2% vaccines where has UK looking at giving a booster jab already to people, so I say to Thai dictator government shame on you how you have treated the lovely Thai people

  3. Their first jab of the CCP crap vaccine aka Sinovac that is. No Astra to be found anywhere so far. If only the private hospitals could get a move on and import their choices like Moderna or Pfiezer. I am more then happy to pay for my jabs if there only was any but so far no private hospital can give me an date when or what vaccines that they will offer. No Sinovac in my arm thank you.

  4. The U.K. has just yesterday reached that figure of 70% of its “adult population” having had the first jab. They have been vaccinating for 6 months. So, with a similar sized population to the U.K., is Thailand looking to achieve that for fire in half the time? Vaccines will become available in quantities in July. That gives just 3 months to meet that aspirational target. It’s not impossible to do it if it’s managed very well with significant production facilities and a high take up rate. Unfortunately all of these prerequisites seem to be a problem in Thailand and many other countries. I wonder if Mr Anutin would be prepared to place his job on the line should that not be achieved? Or perhaps the definition of “population” will be a moving target and what he will say come September is he meant 70% of any adult who has over 50 million baht in the bank, a government minister or other senior civil servant. But now I’m being cynical …..

  5. The other issue here is that within a 3 month window you need to start vaccinating people with their second jab and some vaccines it is suggested that the second jab be administered within 8 weeks. Therefore come the 3rd month (September) you will need to divert first vaccines to start the second jabs. As I say, it’s just about achievable if you aim for 450,000-500,000 every single day from July 1st and carry that one through first and second jabs all the way to end of December. A real challenge indeed. Good luck

  6. “Ok until you realize one of those vaccines is Sinovac with a reported efficacy rate of less than 20% after the first dose (reported by Chile).”

    That’s the good news, @EdV.

    The bad news is that in the WHO’s Evidence Assessment in April (available with a search) when Sinovac applied for WHO approval, the report’s gradings on page 32 (the last page) were that of the 6 criteria required to be met they had a “high degree of confidence” in one, a “moderate degree of confidence” in three, and a “low degree of confidence” in two.

    The two with the “low confidence in the quality of evidence” provided being safety and “the risk of serious adverse effects following one or two doses of CoronaVac” for those over 60 or not in good health.

    Hardly confidence inspiring since Thailand has approved Sinovac for those over 60 despite that, and far from everyone (over or under 60) knows if they have diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.

  7. Why aren’t we talking about this — Chinese citizens living in Thailand began being vaccinated on Thursday as part of China’s global campaign to inoculate its nationals living and working abroad.

  8. @Nigel –

    Your comparison with the UK, another advantage in the UK is the vast majority of people who could have the vaccine took it as soon as they could as they though it was the best thing for them and the best for the country.

    I know two Thai health workers in Thailand who’s job it is to get people to register for the vaccine, they say most people they come across refuse so that will be a hard thing to change, a big difference in cultures.

    Plus of course planning to manufacture and distribute the vaccine efficiently is one thing but to actually do it is not easy.

    I am off for another vaccine shot today which was arranged three months ago.

  9. Why is it “a big difference in cultures”, @James R?

    Why does it have anything to do with “culture” at all?

    If you think there are more anti-vaxxers in Thailand than the UK you’re in la-la land – there’s no anti-vaxxer movement here and Thais are only too happy to get jabs for Tetanus or anything else – it’s routine here.

    Were Brits queuing up for Sinovac?

    There’s your answer – pretty simple.

  10. @simon small. Totally and utterly wrong. There doesn’t need to be anti-vaccination groups in Thailand, the population is already in fear of vaccines. A combination of lack of education. A distrust of anything the government says, a belief that a visit to the temple or eating the right food will protect you, and you have a naturally lower uptake of vaccination. So I’m afraid @James R is correct. You really do need to stop being so offended when people call out cultural differences between Thailand and other countries. I know you want Thailand to appear like a good life choice for you. But I’m afraid it is a totally different culture once you step out of your house.

  11. @David Mann –

    True, Simon Small aka Issan John talks out of his arse most of the time.

    He doesn’t seem to think cultures exist when it comes to Thailand for some reason, he does seem to have lost his British logic though and adopted the illogical Thai logic that some Thais have, that is clear.

    He has convinced himself it is better to wait for a better vaccine, one that suits him more rather than take what is available, very selfish yes, as it means a delay in beating the virus hence more deaths and yet he has the cheek to criticise one of the writers on TheThaiager (Tim) for not wearing a mask in the street while carefully filming in quiet empty streets with no one else around. (A different article to this one).

    But he is good for a laugh.

    Come on Thailand, get moving, get the vaccinations moving as I am waiting to go to Phuket for a long holiday again as I have had my two vaccinations already.

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