Thailand’s Health Ministry says it hopes to have vaccinated over 960,000 people across 10 provinces come April. The Bangkok Post reports that Sopon Mekthon from the government’s Covid-19 vaccine task force says the initial rollout will target high-risk groups, such as those over the age of 60, those with underlying conditions, as well as frontline healthcare workers and disease control officials.
He says initial vaccine supplies will be limited, but it’s hoped there will be a lot more available for the second phase of the national rollout, in order to start building herd immunity and to allow the country to return to normal. The second phase will target healthcare staff not classed as frontline workers, employees in the tourism and industry sectors, and the general public.
The latest announcement from the Health Ministry comes amid growing criticism of how long it is taking to roll out a vaccine programme. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has hit back at critics, saying Thailand shouldn’t be compared to other countries currently rolling out vaccines, given the Kingdom’s success at controlling the virus.
Thailand is expected to take delivery of 2 million doses of the vaccine this month, most of which will be rolled out to the above categories of people in 10 provinces classed as strict and maximum control zones, and areas where virus cases are still on the rise. Some doses will also be administered in provinces bordering the high-risk ones.
In each of the 10 provinces, those who will be first in line to receive dose number 1 of the jab are healthcare workers, disease control officials who may come into contact with Covid patients, those with underlying health conditions, those over the age of 60, the migrant worker population, and other members of the general public.
According to the Bangkok Post report, the 10 provinces first in line for vaccination are primarily in central and eastern Thailand, with the exception of Tak, in the lower-north, which borders Myanmar.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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