PM: Some delays in vaccination drive, but it will improve

PM: Some delays in vaccination drive, but it will improve

Covid-19 vaccine recipients wait while their condition is monitored for 30 minutes after inoculation at Big C store in Romklao district, Bangkok, on Tuesday. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
Covid-19 vaccine recipients wait while their condition is monitored for 30 minutes after inoculation at Big C store in Romklao district, Bangkok, on Tuesday. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha admitted on Tuesday there were initial delays in the government's mass Covid-19 vaccination campaign launched on Monday, but promised this would improve as more supplies of vaccine were delivered.

"I must apologise to anyone who experienced inconvenience or changes," he said after a cabinet meeting at Government House.

He said there were limitations in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines because the government was receiving deliveries in gradual lots of contracted amounts, not the whole contracted amount at one time.

"The government will try to acquire as many more vaccines as possible and not just wait for contracted vaccines.

"I believe that more vaccine doses will be delivered next month and services at inoculation stations in provinces will be more conveniently managed," Gen Prayut said.

"We do not want people who registered for vaccination to suffer further delays."

Pending acquisition of adequate supplies, vaccine distribution would be focused on the number of infected people in an area, at-risk workers, and tourist and economic zones, he said.

The prime minister said the government held to its goal to give at least 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to the people.

It had signed contracts to buy 61 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine produced by Siam Bioscience and 6 million doses from Sinovac. The government would order 8 million more doses from Sinovac.

The government would also buy 25 million doses from Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson, and would  get more through negotiations with other countries. In addition, next year the government would start receiving a vaccine developed in Thailand. 

Mass vaccinations started on Monday, with more than 400,000 doses injected. The total number of vaccine recipients in the country now exceeded 4 million, Gen Prayut said.

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