Needy to get US vaccine, as promised

Needy to get US vaccine, as promised

The first batch of 1.5 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, donated by the United States, will be administered to four groups as planned, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said on Friday.

Dr Apisamai Srirangson, assistant spokeswoman for the CCSA, said the mRNA type vaccine donated by the US will be given to those to whom it was originally promised after critics voiced scepticism.

She said the vaccine will be allotted to medical personnel and health workers as a booster dose, adults aged over 60, people living with seven underlying health conditions, pregnant women, foreigners in Thailand (particularly those who are elderly or have chronic problems), and those who are required to get vaccinated before going abroad such as students, athletes and diplomats.

Meanwhile, a group consisting mainly of doctors posted a call on the "We, the People" Facebook page urging the public to closely monitor the vaccine's rollout. It is expected to arrive late next week.

The group also alleged that some frontline medical workers, who have already been fully vaccinated with Sinovac, are being "persuaded" to accept an AstraZeneca booster shot.

Citing the government's poor decisions in vaccine management, the group said the public should make sure the government keeps its pledge by reserving the supply for those most in need.

Currently, three vaccines, Sinovac, AstraZeneca, and Sinopharm are used in the national inoculation programme.

The cabinet recently approved a proposal to procure 20 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine as pressure for "good quality" vaccine grew. Another mRNA formula, Moderna, is being procured by the Government Pharmaceutical Organization for distribution on behalf of private hospitals.

As of July 22, a total of 15,388,939 doses had been distributed across the country with 11,805,180 people having had their first shot. From this total, 7,933,854 were Sinovac doses, 6,856,472 AstraZeneca and 598,613 Sinopharm.

This group of doctors is led by Dr Santi Kijwattanapaibul, who earlier called for mRNA vaccines to be imported for frontline medical workers.

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