FTI organising employee vaccinations
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FTI organising employee vaccinations

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) plans to start having companies, mostly in Samut Sakhon and Bangkok, vaccinate 51,000 workers in June once the government approves private implementation of a Covid-19 vaccination plan.

The worker numbers are based on a recent one-week survey by the FTI that found 109 companies in 22 provinces want to buy vaccines themselves and administer them to employees without waiting for the state vaccination programme, said Supant Mongkolsuthree, FTI's chairman, yesterday.

Up to 60% of the respondents are factories in Samut Sakhon, where the second outbreak began in mid-December last year, and Bangkok.

"The manufacturing sector can afford to buy vaccines at 1,000 baht a dose to protect workers and workplaces," said Mr Supant.

The FTI will represent manufacturers importing vaccines through the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation and start vaccinations within June.

The group chose the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccines, one of two vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration, said Panitarn Pavarolavidya, the FTI's deputy secretary-general.

The other is the vaccine jointly developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca.

Mr Panitarn said the FTI, which plans to work with public heath officials, will administer the vaccinations at factories with large numbers of workers to avoid overcrowding at hospitals or public health centres.

The FTI will continue gathering more companies interested in joining it to vaccinate workers until the end of this month.

The Thailand Industry Sentiment Index (TISI) for February increased to 85.1 from 83.5 points in January, following the lifting of measures against the pandemic and the launch of additional economic stimulus packages, including the Rao Chana (We Win) financial relief scheme to help boost consumer spending, said Mr Supant.

The index earlier declined in December last year and January this year, hitting a six-month low following the second wave of the pandemic.

The February TISI was based on a survey of 1,403 companies in 45 industries nationwide.

Car manufacturing in February also increased by 4.78% to 155,200 units from January, with 56.9% of units exported, said Surapong Paisitpatanapong, vice-chairman and spokesman of the FTI's automotive club.

Domestic sales in February decreased by 10.9% to 58,960 units from the same month last year because people and commercial banks became more careful about spending following the last outbreak, he said.

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