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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Around 900,000 doses administered since yesterday’s launch of the mass vaccination campaign

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ กรุงเทพมหานคร โดยสำนักงานประชาสัมพันธ์ (Bangkok Metropolitan Administration)

Around 900,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered since Thailand launched its mass immunisation campaign yesterday… making steps closer toward the goal of 96 million doses administered in the next 200 days.

The Thai government first started rolling out vaccines for those in priority areas and those at a high risk of infection on February 28. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul the first in the country to receive China’s Sinovac vaccine. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha later received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Since February 28, around 5.1 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered. So far, Thailand has been using the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines in its national campaign, but it working on acquiring more doses from other brands. The majority of the doses administered so far have been the Sinovac vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine produced locally by Siam Bioscience was recently approved for use.

428,459 doses of the vaccine were administered yesterday and another 472,128 doses were administered today, according to the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Natapanu Nopakun. He says the number of vaccine doses administered in the past 2 days is a good indication that Thailand will likely hit its target.

The World Health Organisation Thailand said there are now 993 vaccination centres in Thailand with the largest in Bangkok. The Bangsue Central Vaccination Centre is set to provide 10,000 inoculations each day.

The WHO representative to Thailand, Daniel A. Kertesz says “Thailand took a big step in its fight against COVID-19.”

“Vaccines against COVID-19 work – they have saved thousands of lives around the world and they will do the same in Thailand. All adults in Thailand should get vaccinated as soon as they can.”

Foreigners are included in Thailand’s vaccination campaign and the health minister says “Everyone living in Thailand who wants to be vaccinated will be vaccinated – free of charge.”

In the current phase of vaccinations, registration is open to foreigners who are 60 years old or above, or who have pre-existing health conditions. Expats in Bangkok and Chon Buri can register at the website thailandintervac.com. Those in other provinces can register at a local hospital where their medical records are on file.

After being injected with the vaccine, patients must wait for 30 minutes to monitor side effects before leaving the vaccination centre. Natapanu says that a healthcare worker will make a phone calls to follow up with patients 7 and 14 days after inoculation. He says health care workers are looking out for any adverse events that follow the immunisation.

With some reports of people dying sometime after being injected with the vaccine, Natapanu says there are coincidental events with people who have underlying health conditions such as heart disease. Medical examiners have a standard autopsy process and are working to distinguish between adverse events and coincidental events after receiving a vaccine.

Of 28 cases where people died after receiving the vaccine, 12 deaths are not directly related to the vaccine and the other 16 cases are still under investigation, according to the Department of Disease Control.

SOURCES: World Health Organisation Thailand | CCSA | Nation Thailand

 

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

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