Govt to spend B35bn on Covid vaccines

Govt to spend B35bn on Covid vaccines

A budget of 35 billion baht will be spent on purchasing 90 million doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines, according deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek.

A total of 35.06 billion baht will finance the vaccine purchase. It forms part of the 35.9 billion baht fund approved by the cabinet at its weekly meeting on Tuesday.

The 35.9 billion baht fund will be tapped from the Covid-19 relief loan procured by the government under an executive decree.

Of the planned vaccine orders, 30 million doses will be bought from Pfizer and 60 million doses from AstraZeneca, which make up the majority of vaccines available in Thailand.

Ms Rachada said the remaining portions of the 35.9 billion baht fund will be used for providing financial relief for social security subscribers who work in the entertainment business and for organising sporting events.

She said 607 million baht is being disbursed to freelance entertainment workers who are insured under the Social Security Fund's Sections 39 and 40 as well as those registered under Section 33. They will receive 5,000 baht worth of aid. Section 33 covers private employees.

In total, 121,431 people are eligible for the aid.

Ms Rachada said another 300 million baht has been set aside for the Thailand Festival Experience programme under which sporting events will be organised, including cycling competitions and surf skating tournaments.

The events, which are taking place in many high tourism and sporting provinces including Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Ayutthaya and Songkhla, are expected to create more than 600,000 jobs.

The deputy spokeswoman said it's estimated the events will generate 550 million baht in revenue for local businesses. The activities are likely to attract more than 56,000 spectators.

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