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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Walk-in vaccination centres planned to speed up rollout

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Walk-in vaccination centres are aiming to speed up mass rollout. (via Facebook)

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced plans for walk-in vaccination centres to accelerate Covid-19 vaccine distribution in Thailand. At a meeting of the National Committee on Vaccines, the decision was made to provide alternative channels to encourage more people to get the vaccine quickly. Also in the works is a plan to develop a new application to register for appointments.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha had mentioned the idea of a walk-in service during a cabinet meeting Tuesday, saying that Thailand was well below target for vaccine registrations. The Department of Disease Control has been tasked with creating a simplified format to encourage registration for vaccines, with the goal of no one being rejected for a jab. The head of the DDC said they will do everything in their power to accelerate vaccine roll out.

Yesterday saw the first vaccination centre outside of a hospital when Central Plaza Ladprao launched a vaccine station with PM Prayut in attendance. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, and Ramathibodi Hospital worked together to launch the centre. Open from 8:30 am to 5 pm daily, 1,000 people were vaccinated at the station through the Mor Prom Line app yesterday, mostly government officers and Covid-19 volunteers as well as people designated as high-risk.

But the Mor Prom line account has not received nearly the amount of registrations that they had hoped, so this new plan is aimed at boosting sign-ups. Only 22 of Thailand’s 77 provinces registered more than 10,000 people through the Line account, with only 2 provinces getting 6-figure signups. 16 million people were targeted to get priority appointments through Mor Prom, people at high risk because of chronic disease or being over the age of 60.

The Prime Minister expressed hope that, with the success of Central Ladprao’s vaccination centre, other businesses will open similar jab stations in the near future. Plans are in place for up to 25 private vaccination centres in Bangkok followed by stations opening across the country. Locations and the number of jabs at each vaccination centre will be left to provincial governments to determine within their own committees on communicable disease.

Thailand’s immediate goal is to get all frontline workers and healthcare professionals vaccinated by the end of the month, and also focus on areas with high infection rates. Next month elderly and high-risk people will be the main target of mass vaccination, followed by the general public. PM Prayut also requested that people like delivery staff and public transportation drivers who travel for work, and staff in restaurants, hospitality, and convenience stores who interact with many people be given priority for vaccinations.

The Prime Minister stressed to the public that Thailand’s inspection process is more stringent than other countries and reassured that the Covid-19 vaccines administered in Thailand are completely safe.

SOURCE: The Phuket 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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