A government spokesperson announced on Thursday that everyone in Thailand will have access to quality and safe COVID-19 vaccines – Thais and foreigners including migrant workers.
The assurance was given during the daily Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration briefing at Government House, by assistant spokeswoman Apisamai Srirangson.
Everyone in the country, including foreigners, will have access to vaccines, she said.
“Vaccinations will include expatriates and migrant workers. The government intends to offer equal protection,” she said.
According to Dr Srirangson, the government has three objectives for COVID-19 vaccination.
To reduce COVID-19 illness and deaths, vaccination will be for people older than 60 years and those with chronic diseases.
To protect the national health system, recipients will be medical personnel as well as workers and officials tasked with disease control or are in contact with patients.
To protect the national economy and society, recipients will be the general public and workers in the service, tourism and industrial sectors. Employers will co-pay for the vaccination of their migrant workers.
Vaccines will also be held in reserve for emergency use.
The first, limited delivery of vaccine would be on 24th February. These doses would be used through into May to save lives and contain COVID-19 in the country, Dr Srirangson said.
Later deliveries of vaccines, which would arrive in larger amounts, would reach workers in the service and tourism sectors.
Vaccination certificates would be issued to inoculated people who need to travel abroad. This would include business people and students, Dr Srirangson said.
She also said that the government agreed that private organisations should be able to acquire COVID-19 vaccines themselves. However, they must be medical organisations with doctors and appropriate equipment available to save any recipients who may have an allergic reaction after the injection.
The vaccines they choose must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
“In other words, the private organisations that will directly procure vaccines are hospitals,” Dr Srirangson said.
The government would announce details about COVID-19 vaccination later, she said.
Thai Airways International announced on Tuesday it would deliver the first 200,000 doses of vaccine, supplied by China’s Sinovac Biotech Co, to Thailand on 24th February.