Poll says MPs should be jabbed last
A vast majority of Thais believe politicians should be among the last people to receive Covid-19 vaccines, according to a public opinion survey carried out by the National Institute of Development Administration (Nida).
Only about 0.5% out of the 1,318 respondents surveyed by Nida between Feb 15-17 believed politicians should be the first to receive Covid-19 jabs; by contrast, 40.5% believed healthcare workers should be the first ones to be vaccinated, followed by blue-collar workers (14.4%).
When asked where the government's vaccination drive should begin, most respondents (56.9%) said inoculations should begin in provinces which were hard-hit by the second wave of Covid-19 outbreaks.
About 16.8% of respondents said vaccinations should begin simultaneously all across the country, some 10.7% believed it should begin in popular tourist destinations, while 10.4% said border provinces should be prioritised.
Separately, National Vaccine Institute director, Nakorn Premsri, said Thailand is in talks to secure more vaccines from the Covax scheme for domestic use.
Covax is a global pooling mechanism for vaccine procurement which is intended to ensure equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.
Yong Poovorawan, chief of the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University, urged the government to speed up the import of Covid-19 vaccines from various suppliers to improve the choices available.
More than 200 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines by major companies had been administered and the side effects of these vaccines were found to be no different to those of the influenza flu vaccines, he said in a Facebook post.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is scheduled to officially accept the first 200,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine from China's Sinovac Biotech at Suvarnabhumi airport on Wednesday.
Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul posted a photo of the vaccines on his Facebook page to assure the public that the vaccines are coming.