Ways eyed to boost jab rate
The Ministry of Public Health said it will ask the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to introduce compulsory measures to persuade more unvaccinated people to get their Covid shots.
The move aims to meet the goal of Thailand having administered 100 million doses this year before the end of the month, according to Dr Sopon Mekthon, assistant to the public health minister and chairman of the government's sub-committee on Covid-19 vaccine management.
So far the government has provided about 85 million doses of vaccine leaving it 15 million doses shy of the target. It plans to introduce compulsory measures to help shore up the campaign, such as only allowing vaccinated people to access public places.
If these measures are approved, the Department of Disease Control will iron out the details, Dr Sopon said.
Meanwhile, certain authorities are proposing incentives to boost vaccination rates, with the Transport Ministry planning to offer a 20% discount on fares for inoculated passengers. A number of public health centres in some provinces are also offering lucky draws to encourage people to get jabs.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on Wednesday described getting vaccinated as a social responsibility to create a safe environment.
"Society will define its own rules on whether to allow unvaccinated people to enter premises," he said.
Mr Anutin said the ministry is focused on campaigning to step up vaccinations including arranging mobile units for the elderly and bedridden in remote areas.