Slow jab distribution a top worry for industrialists

Slow jab distribution a top worry for industrialists

Most of the 191 executives with the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) are worried over the slow distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and its subsequent impact on economic recovery, according to FTI's latest survey.

Up to 76.4% of respondents believe a slow vaccination plan will have a "strong impact" on economic recovery. They urged the government to speed up the process by allowing the private sector to help with distribution.

The state sector should launch a corporate tax reduction scheme to encourage companies to buy vaccines endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration and give them to their employees, said FTI vice-chairman Wirat Uanarumit.

"The companies should be able to use vaccine expenses to deduct spending [for tax calculation]," he said.

Meanwhile, 79.6% of interviewees listed vaccine management and the state's economic stimulus measures as their top worry. Another 50.8% were concerned about state help for businesses, especially those in tourism, while 45.5% were worried over people's financial health.

The opinion survey, dubbed "CEO survey", covered 191 executives in 45 industries and 74 FTI offices.

Almost 78% of the executives also believed that speedy vaccinations will play a key role for the tourism industry in the first half of the year.

According to the Public Health Ministry, the government's public inoculation plan began in late February with the distribution of 200,000 doses of China's Sinovac vaccine and 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

This month, the ministry rolled out 800,000 more Sinovac jabs and it is planning another million next month and five million by May.

Siam Bioscience, a local firm, is to provide 5-10 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine in June.

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