Speaking yesterday after a tele-conference with executives of central and provincial health offices, private and state hospitals, under the chairmanship of Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, Public Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Kiatphum Wongrachit said that starting on February 14, Thailand will first administer vaccinations from AstraZeneca to frontline medical personnel and public health volunteers in Samut Sakhon province on a voluntary basis.
The AstraZeneca vaccines, 50,000 doses of the first lot of 150,000, are expected to arrive in Thailand in early February and they will be given to up to 7,000 frontline medics, said Vice Minister Dr. Sophon Mekthon, Thai PBS World reported.
The remaining 100,000 doses will soon follow and are expected to arrive in the country in March and April. This shipment is separate from the 26 million doses to be produced locally by Siam Bioscience.
Mass vaccinations are arranged in three stages:
- February-April. Due to the limited supply of the vaccine, inoculation will be restricted to high-risk areas, such as Samut Sakhon, among frontline medical professionals and health volunteers only. Each volunteer will be given two doses, with 21 days between them.
- May to December. More vaccines will be available and more target groups will be inoculated across the whole country.
- January 2022. More vaccines will become available and more people will be inoculated.
Since this mass vaccination is unprecedented, Mr. Anutin said that all provinces must be briefed on the preparations needed to ensure that all people will have access to the vaccine.
As the vaccine is new, he said inoculations must take place in hospitals in case anyone develops acute adverse side effects.
He also said that the ministry has developed an official Line account, called “Mor Prom”, to facilitate registration to receive the vaccine, and to follow up any negative side effects experienced by those inoculated. It will also serve as a communication channel between the people and officials. The system will be put on trial among medical personnel on February 12th and be opened to the public in April.
Source: Thai PBS World
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