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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says 19 million people will be vaccinated in the first phase of immunisations

Caitlin Ashworth



PHOTO: Asia Times

After criticism that the Thai government is taking too long to start mass Covid-19 immunisation, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha announced that 19 million people will be vaccinated in the first phase of inoculations starting next month.

Vulnerable groups and frontline workers in areas at the highest risk of infection are first priority. Out of the 19 million people to be vaccinated in the first phase, Prayut says 11 million will be people over the age of 60, 6.1 million people with underlying conditions and 1.7 million people who work in the medical field. Another 15,000 government workers involved in managing the virus will also be vaccinated in the first phase.

Prayut says the first phase will start with 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been approved by the government for emergency use. Altogether, the Thai government secured 26 million doses from AstraZeneca and reportedly reserved another 35 million doses. The Thai firm Siam Bioscience is planned to produce the vaccine locally by June.

Thailand also ordered 2 million doses of China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine and the first shipment of 200,000 doses is expected to arrive next month.

There was no timeline announced for the first phase of immunisation. Head of the government’s vaccine management committee, Sophon Mekthon, told Reuters that the time frame depends on the capacity of hospitals administering the vaccines as well as the number of doses they receive.

SOURCE: Reuters


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  1. Avatar


    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    No mention of when that first 26M doses of AZ are showing up. You just get the feeling this is going to be a slow roll out after they use up the Sino vaccine. Hopefully not.

  2. Avatar


    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    great to have a plan, but we need dates

  3. Avatar


    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    Plan 555 it will change tomorrow

  4. Avatar


    Friday, January 29, 2021 at 1:56 am

    Germany has just decided limit the AstraZeneca vaccine to people under the age of 65. They are citing “insufficient data” over its efficacy for older people as the reason.

  5. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, January 29, 2021 at 2:21 am

    As you pointed out previously, Ed V, the 26m AZ doses may well be delayed, so the delay may not be a bad thing until “sufficient data” is available.

    Personally, I’m not in any rush and I’m quite happy to wait until “sufficient data” becomes available on AZ’s, Sinovac’s, or anyone else’s.

  6. Avatar


    Friday, January 29, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    Does anyone know if farang will be included or just Thai citizens?

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 10:54 am

      The Thais are already selling a covid vaccine to ferangs at B3000, B2250 for the same vaccine to the Thais.
      I would not have it. I suspect, due to the irresistible Thai instinct to scam, the vaccine will be plain water.

  7. Avatar


    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    Darling Prayut ! In order to vaccinate 19 people you’ll need 38M doses my love !!!
    Where are you gonna get them from smart boy ?

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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