13m Thais to be jabbed by mid-2021
The Public Health Ministry said 13 million Thais will be vaccinated to prevent Covid-19, free of charge, by the middle of 2021.
Permanent secretary for Public Health Ministry, Kiattiphum Wongrajit, told the media that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has pre-ordered 26 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca to give out to 13 million of Thais, or half the Thai population, for the middle of next year. He added the vaccines, given by the government, will mostly come free of charge but some, sold by private suppliers, could cost some money.
All vaccines will be registered and inspected by the Medical Sciences Department to test their safety.
Opas Karnkawinpong, acting director-general of the Department of Disease Control, said over 10,000 hospitals will help with vaccinations across the country, while the primary group to receive the jabs will be determined at the discretion of physicians.
"If things go as planned, the preparation period will be this month and May 2021 and campaigning for people to get vaccinated will be between June 2021 and March 2022.
"I can assure that Thais will get free vaccinations without any fake vaccines or profit-making," he said.