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Ministry of Public Health says Pfizer vaccine will be allocated correctly, others disagree

Jack Arthur



PHOTO: Holger Matthes/Flickr

Yesterday, the Ministry of Public Health assured the public that all medical staff, including “rescuers” and undertakers, will assuredly get the Pfizer vaccine. Provided, that is, they fall within the ministry’s guidelines for the vaccination.

The ministry says the subcommittee on disease immunity enhancement made the decision on Sunday to establish guidelines for the 1,503,450 Pfizer vaccines from the US of A that got to Thailand last Friday.

Around 700,000 vaccine doses will be provided to medical staff. Albeit, the number has proven somewhat controversial with the public regarding the equity of the vaccine distribution plan as they say multiple medical personnel fall through the cracks of the ministry’s criteria and will not be eligible for the vaccine.

However, Dr Sira Wisetsak, who is the ministry’s deputy permanent secretary and is in charge of vaccine management, says all medical staff/frontline health workers who are at risk of catching Covid will indeed get the Pfizer vaccine. He insists that the 700,000 doses is an adequate amount for medical staff/frontline workers.

“We believed our criteria covers all medical staff who are in need. And the number of vaccines can cover them all,” says Dr Sira, who adds that if there are vaccines left, they will later consider how to allocate them to other groups who need them.

Multiple civil society groups want the department to allocate the Pfizer vaccine to all medical staff, regardless of any conditions they have, because they are still at high risk of being infected with Covid.

Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, who is chief of the Department of Disease Control, emphatically says that medical staff/frontline health workers, students, and officers who are in close contact with Covid patients will be administered the vaccine… provided they have been inoculated with 1 or 2 doses of either Sinovac or Sinopharm.

The chief adds that even people who have not received any vaccine will still be eligible to get 2 full doses of Pfizer. He also says that if someone has gotten both Sinovac and AstraZeneca, or merely has had AstraZeneca as a booster dose, it’s not recommended they get the Pfizer dose.

He points at their higher immunity level, for the time being, which makes it unnecessary to obtain a Pfizer vaccine. The doctor still thinks they should register so they can get the vaccine at a later date where there is enough information… Or if Thailand acquires more Pfizer vaccines at some later date.

SOURCE: The Phuket News


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Jack is from the USA, has a B.A. in English, and writes on a variety of topics. He lives in Thailand.

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