Mass Jab Rollout For Restaurant Staff Begins

Anutin Charnvirakul Speaking

The government has started a mass vaccination plan for restaurant staff following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions for restaurants.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul yesterday inspected a vaccination programme for staff members under the Thai Restaurant Association at Bang Sue Grand Station yesterday.

Over a thousand restaurant operators and staff were vaccinated yesterday, with cross vaccines of Sinovac and AstraZeneca.

More than 30,000 out of 63,000 restaurant staff in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces have been vaccinated and the remaining ones will be vaccinated within two weeks, with 5,000 doses a day, said Mr Charnvirakul.

The minister said the ministry will seek more doses to expand vaccinations for this group of people in other provinces because they are considered an at-risk group that has to meet many customers daily.

Thaniwan Kanmongkol, president of the association, thanked the ministry for its vaccine quota.

Meanwhile, the Japanese embassy said the Japanese government has approved the donation of 300,000 more doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Thailand.

This brings the total number of donated doses to 1,350,000, on top of donations of 775 oxygen concentrators for critical patients and the arrangement of a cold chain system for vaccine storage and transportation.

James Teague, president of AstraZeneca (Thailand), said the company delivered 5.3 million doses in total to Thailand last month, raising the total number of doses to 16.6 million.

It aims to deliver all 61 million of the reordered doses by the end of this year.

The company recognised its big responsibility to save the lives of Thai people.

With collaboration from Siam Bioscience, AstraZeneca is able to produce and deliver the vaccines within the designated period, said Mr Teague.

“There continues to be no higher priority for AstraZeneca in Thailand than manufacturing vaccines that can protect everyone as fast as possible.

“In partnership with Siam Bioscience, we continue to operate at full manufacturing capacity and are leaving no stone unturned to increase supply,” he said.

There were 14,653 new COVID-19 cases and 271 more fatalities reported in the previous 24 hours, the Public Health Ministry said yesterday.