Govt readies swift vaccinations sweep

Govt readies swift vaccinations sweep

Razor wire blocks entry to the Three Pagodas pass crossing on the border with Myanmar, in Sangkhla Buri district of Kanchanaburi on Monday. (Photo by Piyarach Chongcharoen)
Razor wire blocks entry to the Three Pagodas pass crossing on the border with Myanmar, in Sangkhla Buri district of Kanchanaburi on Monday. (Photo by Piyarach Chongcharoen)

The national vaccine committee will seek 2.93 billion baht to preorder Covid-19 vaccines from overseas for Thais.

Panprapa Yongtrakul, spokeswoman of the Public Health Ministry, told a press briefing the committee will list criteria for who would receive the first batches of vaccine half of the population first, adding that 2.93 billion baht would be spent reserving the stock.

She said the government is searching for a Covid-19 vaccine producer who has completed phase-three trials to provide the vaccine to 30% of Thais and it plans to order a further 20% from Covax, a company created by World Health Organization.

Dr Nakorn Premsri, director of the National Vaccine Institute, added the first group will consist of 33 million people who will receive the vaccine at a cost of around 700 baht per person, or about 20 billion baht in total.

He said the government may seek a subsidy from a Covid-19 loan fund or the government budget as preordering supplies is necessary to guarantee it can be widely used shortly after development is complete.

Currently, about 10 vaccine producers have finished the last trial phase and negotiations should be concluded this month.

He said according to international vaccine allotment criteria, medical officers will receive the first doses.

Meanwhile, the Three Pagodas border checkpoint in Kanchanaburi will remain closed until Oct 19, due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus disease in Myanmar, according to provincial governor Jeerasak Phumsawad on Monday.

Kanchanaburi currently allows border trade only at the Ban Phu Nam Ron checkpoint in Muang district.

The governor said the extension was aimed at preventing the spread of the virus from nearby areas of Myanmar into Kanchanaburi.

Myanmar reported 41 new Covid-19 deaths on Sunday, raising the total to 412, Xinhua news agency reported. There were also 1,294 new infections, taking the total to 17,794, according to the report.

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