The government has set aside 14.32 billion baht for a five-year plan to ensure public health security through a national vaccine and vaccination policy to fight existing and emerging diseases as well as bioweapons.
Backed by the cabinet on Tuesday, the plan for building a national vaccination security policy and strategies will be implemented from next year until 2027, replacing the first plan that is due to expire this year, said deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul yesterday.
Having learned from its experience with Covid-19 over the past two years, Thailand realises the importance of investing in its own national vaccination security, she said.
Comprising four main strategies, the plan requires a budget of 14.32 billion baht over five years, she said.
The first strategy, requiring 2.88 billion baht, deals with a system for managing the country's inoculation in both normal and emergency situations.
A total of 15 projects will be implemented, including one to stockpile vaccines for the possible outbreak of various diseases and another to develop a vaccination database equipped with big data technology.
The second strategy concerns research and development in the vaccine-making industry, which will cover 26 projects and require 9.91 billion baht in funding, Mr Traisuree said.
Among these are an adenoviral vector platform and a viral vector platform for developing a prototype vaccine to fight emerging diseases, she said.
The third strategy concerns the development of the workforce to support national vaccination security building, which is split into 23 projects and requires 315.89 million baht. These projects deal with enhancing the capacity of those working in the vaccine research circle, Ms Traisuree said.
The fourth and final strategy deals with three projects aimed at improving the capacity of organisations in vaccine research and development. These projects, requiring 1.20 billion baht in funding, are also important for protecting national security, she said. The national vaccine committee and the National Vaccine Institute will follow up the plan and evaluate it annually, she said.
The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said yesterday that 127.65 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered since Feb 28 of last year. So far, 79% of the population has received a first shot while 72.1% of those are double-vaccinated, said the CCSA.
As of Tuesday, 32.4% of the population has been administered a third booster shot.