PM backs new vaccine drive

PM backs new vaccine drive

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed public health agencies to step up efforts to encourage those who remain unvaccinated to get the jab as a week-long vaccination campaign begins today.

Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana on Friday said Gen Prayut is urging everyone to get vaccinated so as to achieve herd immunity which will help the country's economy, especially the tourism sector.

As part of the drive, Mr Thanakorn said the Disease Control Department has organised a "Week of Covid-19 Vaccination" campaign from today until Dec 5.

From Feb 28 to Nov 25 this year, 91.23 million doses have been administered in Thailand -- 47.5 million as a first dose, 40.5 million as a second and 3.2 million as a third.

Vaccination data has shown satisfactory results in the reduction of symptom severity, as well as a drop in the death rate.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said mRNA Covid-19 vaccine shots are now available at vaccination sites in Bang Sue Grand Station, Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute and Srithanya Hospital.

"Everyone should receive the vaccine as soon as possible," said Mr Anutin.

"The ministry will make vaccine administration available to those who are unvaccinated, especially elderly people, the bedridden, pregnant women and children. Both unvaccinated legal and illegal migrant workers will be included in our efforts to provide vaccines," he said. "The amount of vaccines we have is sufficient for everyone in the country."

The country has set the target of having 100 million doses administered by the end of the year, Mr Anutin said.

Thailand will also have on hand a further 30 million Pfizer doses and 60 million AstraZeneca doses as booster shots next year, he said.

Mr Anutin said the country has ordered 50,000 courses, equal to 2 million pills, of anti-Covid molnupiravir pills to help further fight the disease. The ministry is proposing to procure another Covid-19 antiviral medicine, paxlovid, to bolster supplies.

He also asked people to strictly comply with universal prevention guidelines as well as getting vaccinated in the interests of public safety.

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