Anutin sets mass vaccination targets
All groups to be jabbed by year-end
All target groups will be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of the year, while supplies of a booster shot are planned for certain groups this year and all groups in the year to come, the government said on Wednesday.
Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said that almost 60 million Covid-19 vaccine doses are expected to have been administered by the end of October.
He said all target groups will be fully vaccinated by the year-end.
On average between 700,000 and 800,000 doses are administered per day, Mr Anutin said.
"Those who have already received both shots of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine will be injected with a booster shot of AstraZeneca, by the end of this year as well," he said.
"The booster shot injection programme is scheduled to begin on Sept 24 [tomorrow]."
As for next year, he said the government plans to procure about 100 million more vaccine doses for use as a booster shot for all target groups in the first half of the year.
An assessment will be conducted to determine whether another booster shot will be needed in the other half of the year or not.
"The Covid-19 vaccination situation should improve a lot next year as more vaccine choices will be available," Mr Anutin said.
He said prices are expected to come down as well.
"As for the roughly 5 million school students aged 12 and above, the first batch of Pfizer vaccine will arrive on Sept 29 and all 30 million doses of this vaccine should be delivered by December," he said.
The Pfizer vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use on children as young as 12, he said.
He admitted no Covid-19 vaccines for people younger than 12 have been submitted to the Thai FDA for approval.
While the number of new Covid-19 cases remains at over 10,000 per day, he said the Ministry of Public Health will keep stocking medications and devices to treat Covid-19 patients.
Mr Anutin said he was confident that everyone had done their best to control the pandemic.
He said if the country's vaccination campaign goes to plan, the virus will become less severe for the majority of the population and will eventually be a controllable endemic disease like the common flu.