PM says sorry for hold-ups in jabs rollout

PM says sorry for hold-ups in jabs rollout

Prayut says more supplies on way

Covid-19 vaccination in Romklao district of Bangkok on Tuesday. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
Covid-19 vaccination in Romklao district of Bangkok on Tuesday. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha admitted on Tuesday there had been some delays in the government's mass Covid-19 vaccination campaign that launched on Monday but promised this would improve as more supplies were received.

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

The PM said there were limitations in the distribution of vaccines because the government was receiving deliveries in gradual lots, not all at one time.

"The government will try to acquire as many more vaccines as possible and not just wait for contracted vaccines, sad Gen Prayut. "I believe that more vaccine doses will be delivered next month and services at inoculation stations in the provinces will be more conveniently managed.

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

When available, vaccine distribution would focused on infected people, at-risk workers plus tourist and key economic areas, he said.

The prime minister said the government aimed to eventually administer at least 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to the Thai people.

It had signed contracts to buy 61 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine produced by Siam Bioscience and six million doses from Sinovac.

The government would also order eight million more doses from Sinovac, 25 million from Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson, and hoped to negotiate for extra supplies.

In addition, the government would start receiving a vaccine developed in Thailand, he said.

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

More one million doses of Sinovac vaccine will arrive in Thailand tomorrow, said permanent secretary of public health, Kiattiphum Wongrajit and on June 14, some supplies from AstraZeneca would also boost supplies. As of Tuesday, 750,000 doses of Sinovac had been allocated across the country.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said vaccines had been allocated to all provinces and it was up to officials to distribute them widely.

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