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Loei postponing appointments due to shortage of vaccines

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: A shortage of vaccines leads to postponing appointments. (via Hindustan Times)

With a lot of good news on Covid-19 vaccines being received from China and being mass-produced in Thailand, things are starting to look up for Thailand’s alarmingly slow national vaccination efforts. But the province of Loei announced yesterday that they would be postponing appointments for vaccines due to a shortage of jabs available to them.

The governor of Loei took to the provincial public relations office’s Facebook page yesterday to announce that the province has only been allocated 600 vaccines per week in the government’s rollout schedule, leading to the postponing of appointments. In the government’s latest vaccination rollout plans, the Department of Disease Control will monitor and evaluate vaccine distribution to each province on a weekly basis, adjusting the number of vaccines each province receives based on need.

Priority for vaccine allotment is given based on a few factors. Provinces with large infection rates or new rapidly spreading clusters are flagged to get the most vaccines fastest to contain outbreaks. Priority is also reserved for tourism regions like Phuket pushing towards reopening next month and start generating vital revenue. Other economically important regions will also receive more attention in vaccine allotment.

Alas, Loei is postponing vaccines because does not qualify for any of those factors that take priority when it comes to dividing up who gets how many vaccines. The northern province in the Isan region which borders Laos is one of the least densely populated provinces in Thailand. There have only been 92 Covid-19 infections in the province since the beginning of Thailand’s third wave of Covid-19 on April 1.

As such, Loei is considered a very low-risk region, and with its small population and low infection risk, the province was allocated only the meagre weekly batch of 600 vaccines, prompting vaccination postponing. The government has committed to sending more jabs periodically though.

But until the province received more vaccines, they are postponing all appointments until further notice. The governor’s Facebook note made a point to reassure all the people who already applied for vaccines that they would receive their dose, but as of now, the date of vaccination remains unknown.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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