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Health Ministry says local administrations can buy Covid vaccines for roll-out in their areas

Maya Taylor

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Health Ministry says local administrations can buy Covid vaccines for roll-out in their areas | The Thaiger
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The Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, says local administrations can use allocated funds to buy approved Covid vaccines for administration in their localities.

“The government plans to provide free jabs to the public but it is alright too if a local administration wants to use state-allocated funds to launch their own vaccination drive. It is good that local administrative bodies want to help. What they need to do is check with the authorities because there are certain rules and regulations to comply with.”

Anutin has stressed that the vaccines must have Food and Drug Administration approval. Last month, a private hospital in Bangkok was asked to remove an advert offering the opportunity to pre-order the Moderna vaccine, which has not yet been registered for FDA approval.

Paisarn Dunkum from the FDA says even if vaccines have been approved elsewhere in the world, they still require registration with the Thai regulatory body. The process requires manufacturers to supply testing data and information on potential risks, so that the Public Health Ministry has the necessary information to deal with potential side effects. Based on the information provided, the FDA will decide on the safety and efficacy of each vaccine.

“The FDA needs to protect consumers. We need companies to register so we can trace importers and companies if safety issues arise.”

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports that the mayor of Nakhon Nonthaburi municipality, Somnuek Thanadechakul, has already requested approval to buy vaccines directly from the Health Ministry in order to begin a local vaccination drive. Somnuek says the municipality is budgeting 260 million baht for procurement of the vaccines, adding that several other administrations plan to do the same.

The Health Ministry says local administrations must use their state-allocated funds to buy the vaccines, as opposed to using supplies from the government’s free rollout. The government’s campaign will begin next month, when 2 million doses of the Chinese Sinovac jab are rolled out to frontline medical workers, volunteer healthcare workers, and high-risk groups. This will be followed by 60 million doses of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca in partnership with the UK’s Oxford University. It’s understood the government is hoping to achieve herd immunity in at least 50% of Thailand’s population.

For now, only the Chinese and AstraZeneca offerings have registered for FDA approval. While other companies have been invited to register their vaccines, Anutin says the firms have stipulated conditions for doing so.

“These companies say they will not register their vaccines in Thailand unless authorities guarantee to place an order comprising a certain amount.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    David williams

    Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 10:50 am

    Herd immunity in 50 pc of the population does not count. There is only one herd! 50 pc will not qualify as herd immunity.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 12:05 pm

      What “herd immunity”?

      Do you have any source for any studies showing that it exists for Covid-19 at all?

      • Avatar

        Cameron

        Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 5:19 pm

        Herd Immunity exists for *every* viral or bacterial infection. The relevant question is, what percentage of the herd requires immunity in order to protect the remainder of the heard with no immunity? This percentage is different for each virus or bacteria and can also differ between regions due to many factors, such as climate for example. Here is the scientific analysis for Covid19:

        https://www.nature.com/articles/s41577-020-00451-5

        For example, in France, herd immunity will be achieved at a vaccination/immunity rate of 67%.

  2. Avatar

    James Pate

    Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    I’m sceptical. On the surface, this may look good as local authorities seem to be stepping up to the plate. On the other hand, I worry about more selfish and nefarious motives. It could be something as innocuous as a local politician trying to advance his national profile or, could be straight up corruption in the making.

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    It doesn’t seem unreasonable at all, but I’m curious what “state allocated funds” they have available for this.

    Maybe some enterprising local administrator will see an opportunity for their region to make a HUMONGOUS amount of money by buying the vaccine direct from the Health Ministry then selling it to anyone with the money (Thai OR FARANG) who wants and can afford it.

    … and “no”, I’m not really joking …..

  4. Avatar

    Yan

    Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 7:57 pm

    Just an idea, maybe we should gather in groups to obtain the “Oxford Astra Zeneca” or “Moderna” vaccine in the different regions at certain hospitals. So the director of the hospital has to show being responsible to a whole group. That group could also take a lawyer to control and follow the rules so that everyone gets the right vaccine at the right price…and at the right time ( 2 injections).

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

State Railway of Thailand furloughs 57 locals trains from Tuesday

The Thaiger

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State Railway of Thailand furloughs 57 locals trains from Tuesday | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Baolau

Thailand State Railway governor says that cancellations will affect 13 local services on the northern line, 18 on the northeastern routes, 12 in the southern region and 14 eastern trains.

“Most of the cancelled trains will start at Hua Lamphong station, including trains that are popular with tourists, including services to Kanchanaburi and Hua Hin.”

Niruj Maneepun says the move is to support the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s effort to curb the virus’ spread by maintaining travel restrictions.

“Already all sightseeing and most long-haul trains have been temporarily cancelled due to Covid-19.”

Thailand has logged 13,500 confirmed infections and 73 deaths since the start of the pandemic in January 2020. The current outbreak that began on December 20, with the epicentre centred around seafood markets in coastal Samut Sakhon, has spread to 63 Thai provinces.

Recently, Bangkok has allowed the reopening of 13 types of businesses as long as they follow strict guidelines surrounding safety measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Businesses allowed to reopen under these measures…

  • Banquet venues, which will need authorisation from BMA for events with over 300 participants
  • Beauty salons, tattoo and piercing shops
  • Fitness centers, but personal trainers and communal steam rooms are not allowed
  • Game Arcades; but all points of contact must be regularly disinfected and facemasks worn at all times.
  • Internet cafés
  • Senior nursing homes, but with limited activities
  • Sports venues, except for boxing rings and race tracks, but no audiences allowed
  • Spas, Thai massage shops, excluding massage parlours
  • Gymnasia and boxing venues for training only
  • Bowling alleys and ice skating rinks, but no competitions or audiences allowed
  • Dancing academies
  • Martial art schools, but no tournaments or audiences allowed
  • Amulet shops and markets

Other provinces in Thailand, such as Chonburi, are waiting for the green light to reopen businesses and travel. Chonburi has reported 0 cases of Covid for 3 days in a row, prompting locals to become frustrated with the strict measures that won’t ease up until at least the end of the month.

SOURCE:Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai researcher details her Covid-19 vaccination experience

The Thaiger

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Thai researcher details her Covid-19 vaccination experience | The Thaiger
PHOTO:Aecc Global

“General post-vaccination symptoms include a mild fever, headache, muscle pain and shivering.”

A Thai post-doctorate researcher at the University of Chicago is detailing her Covid-19 vaccination experience and offering insight into its effects. Siriruk Changrob has received 2 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine but says just the vaccine won’t immunise people from getting Covid.

Siriruk says a person who is inoculated with the vaccine can still become infected and should continue to practice social distancing and wearing a mask until a herd immunity is developed by 60% of the population, or the virus dissipates. She says she received the first vaccine about 20 days ago and upon arriving for the 2nd dose, a nurse asked her about any side effects and whether she had tested positive for the virus in the past 90 days.

She says she didn’t feel anything until about 8 hours after the 2nd injection, when she started to feel feverish and some pain at the injection site. She noted that all her colleagues warned her that the 2nd injection would give her more painful symptoms.

The Pfizer vaccine requires 2 doses that must be administered at least 21 days apart. But Sriiruk warns that if you can’t get the 2nd injection within the recommended time frame, to hold off from the injection until the time frame can be followed. She also said that anyone who requires daily medication to treat other ailments should consult their doctor before being vaccinated, to ensure that the efficacy of the vaccine will not be affected by that medication.

She says the general post-vaccination symptoms include a “mild fever, headache, muscle pain and shivering”, positive signs that the body is developing an immunity. She warns that taking medication to prevent such symptoms as a fever, is not recommended as the vaccine only protects a person from developing symptoms, rather from being infected by the virus.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

50,000 to be tested for Covid-19 in Samut Sakhon, 198 new infections reported in Thailand today

The Thaiger

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50,000 to be tested for Covid-19 in Samut Sakhon, 198 new infections reported in Thailand today | The Thaiger

50,000 people are lining up to be tested for Covid-19 in the hotspot of Samut Sakhon over the next 5 days as health officials step up pro-active testing in the hard-hit Thai province. The target of 10,000 people to be tested per day will focus on factory workers, communities and dormitories in an effort to change Krathum Ban and Muang districts from red to yellow and then green zones.

Apisamai Srirangsun, the CCSA deputy spokesperson, says they expect to find 2,000-3,000 new cases as a result of the increased tracking, tracing and testing. She says health officials are trying to track down and free Samut Sakhon of new infections.

“Officials are optimistic that that the pandemic will ease during the 2nd week of February.”

Samut Sakhon is the centre of the 2nd core wave of Covid in Thailand as a cluster of infections broke out late last year in the provincial seafood markets along the coast, just south west of Bangkok. She also said that educational institutes, in some areas of Samut Sakhon, may be allowed to reopen during the next month, if the situation improves.

“But many businesses may have to wait to reopen.”

So far, 70,000 people in the province have been tested for the virus with 5,332 found to be infected. Most of those infected are migrant workers from Myanmar, with the infection rate around 7%.

According to the CCSA, 198 new Covid-19 cases were recorded today, including 191 locally-transmitted infections and 7 imported. 1 more fatality was reported, bringing the national total death toll to 73.

The latest victim was a 73 year old woman from Samut Sakhon, who also suffered from dementia, high blood pressure and epilepsy. She was found to have been infected by family members on January 9 and was admitted to the hospital suffering from fatigue and a severe lung inflammation. The woman was placed on a respirator and was transferred to Thaksin Hospital, but she passed away yesterday after her condition worsened.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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