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Thailand now plans on 150 million Covid-19 vaccines

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Vaccine supplies in Thailand are now planned to expand to 150 million jabs. (via chinaembassy.or.th)

Thailand upped its target from 100 to 150 million vaccines in an announcement on social media by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha. This expanded goal would be enough to cover the necessary 2 jabs for every person in the country, and possibly all the foreign residents that the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration is again reassuring will get vaccines. The original plan was 63 million jabs, but after the second and third wave of Covid-19 has seen many more infection than all of 2020, the scheme was increased to 100 million and now 150 million.

On top of the government cache, private hospitals are solidifying a plan to import and distribute vaccines starting with the Moderna vaccine. They expect 2 jabs to cost under 3000 baht and people should be able to register on the Mor Prom Line account, but the function isn’t live yet and confusion surrounds the vaccine situation for foreigners.

A big rollout push to begin the 150 million vaccines is planned to begin in June with AstraZeneca jabs produced locally by Siam Bioscience. But tourist zones like Chon Buri and Phuket have been prioritised for earlier distribution. Phuket is already vaccinating in an attempt to stick to their sandbox schedule of opening to international travel without quarantine in July. These tourist areas were flagged as “high priority economic zones” due to the vast majority of their GDP being tourism-based.

Apparently taking heed of the significant criticism for a slow vaccine rollout, the government has been widening its procurement scope to reach the goal of 150 million vaccines by negotiating with 7 different vaccine manufacturers, recently announcing after a meeting with Pfizer that Thailand plans on receiving 10 to 20 million jabs from them in the last half of 2021.

The current goal for procuring 150 million vaccines is to give at least one vaccine to every adult in Thailand by July 31st. This timeline is still hoped to allow tourist destinations to reopen to international travellers by the end of the year. Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Koh Samui have all been decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic and efforts are being made to get them reopened for vaccinated domestic and foreign travellers to visit without quarantine before the year is over.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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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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