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“We’ll do better on vaccines, there’s loads more on the way” – Anutin

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Facebook/PR Thai Government

Thailand’s Public Health Minister has pledged to do better on vaccine rollout, saying many more doses are coming soon. Anutin Charnvirakul says 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived yesterday, with another 1 million arriving tomorrow. The Bangkok Post reports that yesterday, Anutin visited the vaccination centre at Bang Sue Grand Station in the capital, where he met with some of the people who’d registered via the Mor Prom app and then been turned away from hospitals due to vaccine shortages.

Of those turned away, the Health Ministry sent 1,000 of the elderly and those with underlying health conditions for vaccination at Bang Sue station instead. Anutin says all 1,000 were vaccinated yesterday, adding that the ministry aims to help the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration with its vaccine rollout. He denies any rift between both agencies.

“It’s about taking the load off the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. It’s clear that we (the ministry and the BMA) are not at odds over the vaccine rollout.”

According to the Bangkok Post report, Anutin acknowledges that many elderly people and those with health conditions that put them at risk of severe illness from Covid-19 had had their appointments postponed. He then went on to thank the Department of Disease Control and the Department of Medical Services – which both fall under his ministry – for helping to facilitate their vaccination at Bang Sue station.

As the Bang Sue vaccination centre has the capacity to vaccinate up to 2,000 people a day, Anutin says the plan is to have everyone in the elderly group, and those with underlying health conditions, vaccinated by the end of July. He says that as soon as the AstraZeneca doses arrive, they will be distributed across Thailand, with priority being given to those 2 groups. However, he adds that Bangkok will receive a significant portion of the delivery due to it having the highest number of cases.

The minister has also dismissed rumours that a large number of AstraZeneca doses was being sent to Buriram, Anutin’s own constituency.

“I know I’m being watched. If I had done something so foolish, it would have been (politically) suicidal.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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