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Thailand plans to include 3 million foreigners in mass vaccination programme

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Thailand plans to include 3 million foreigners in mass vaccination programme
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The Thai government says it is planning on including 3 million foreigners in its mass Covid-19 vaccination programme in an effort to protect the entire population. Opas Kankawinpong, the head of the disease control department, has confirmed the news, saying that anyone can get the vaccine if they want it.

“Anybody living in Thailand, whether they be Thai or foreign, if they want they vaccine, they can get it. No one is safe until everyone is safe.”

But expatriates have been voicing their concerns in the past few weeks, about, what they say, is a lack of public information, confusion over private vaccines, and problems registering. The mass immunisation programme hasn’t started yet, but the government is sticking to its previous announcement that major tourism areas will open in July to vaccinated travellers. The plan was contingent upon 70% of local residents being vaccinated in order to achieve a herd immunity to the virus. But 50 million Thais and 3 million foreign residents would need to be inoculated over the next few months.

Anxiety over the massive amount of people who have yet to receive even their first dose is growing, as the country deals with its largest outbreak of Covid since the pandemic began. Reports of only frontline workers as having received the vaccines from the stock of 2.5 Sinovac vaccines, have made critics say the government’s slow vaccine rollout is not helping the latest wave.

Meanwhile, another 1 million Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine doses from China have arrived in Thailand while another batch of 500,000 doses will arrive next week. The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation formally accepted the delivery at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport this morning.

More than 2/3 of deaths in Thailand from the virus have been recorded just in the past month alone. But new, daily infections have been hovering around the 2,000 mark since the middle of April. The Public Health Ministry says it is working on other ways to communicate with foreigners about getting the jabs. Mobile applications or being contacted directly by hospitals are a couple of ideas on the table.

Today, Thailand reported 1,911 new Covid-19 infections and 18 deaths.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

Courtesy ofThaiger News

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