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Thai PM apologises for delays in vaccination rollout

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Flickr/World Travel & Tourism Council

Sorry seems to be the hardest word… Or so the song goes. But the Thai PM has managed it (admittedly some would say it took a while). Prayut Chan-o-cha has apologised for the hiccups with the national vaccine rollout, admitting yesterday that there had been delays.

The Bangkok Post reports that the PM insists the situation will improve with the arrival of additional vaccine doses. He says distribution had been limited due to doses arriving gradually, in batches, as opposed to all at once.

“I must apologise to anyone who experienced inconvenience. The government will try to acquire as many more vaccines as possible and not just wait for contracted vaccines. I believe that more vaccine doses will be delivered next month and services at inoculation stations in the provinces will be more conveniently managed. We do not want people who registered for vaccinations to suffer further delays.”

According to the Bangkok Post report, initial distribution will focus on infected people, high-risk employees, and key tourism and economic areas. The government has an ambitious aim to administer at least 100 million vaccine doses. Contracts have been signed to purchase 61 million doses of the locally-produced AstraZeneca vaccine, in addition to 6 million doses of the Chinese Sinovac.

The PM says the government plans to order a further 8 million Sinovac doses, along with 25 million doses of the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Added into the mix eventually will be Thailand’s own Covid-19 vaccine.

The national vaccine rollout kicked off on Monday, when over 400,000 doses were administered. Over 4 million people in the country have now received at least 1 dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, Kiattiphum Wongrajit from the Public Health Ministry says another 1 million Sinovac doses are due to arrive tomorrow and another AstraZeneca shipment is expected on June 14. Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says all provinces have received vaccine doses and that it’s up to provincial officials to ensure they’re widely distributed.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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