Provinces With Low COVID-19 Infection Rates Forced To Delay Jabs

Kiattiphum Wongrajit
Permanent secretary for public health, Kiattiphum Wongrajit.

Several provinces with substantially lower COVID-19 infection rates will have to postpone vaccination appointments after they received lower-than-expected jab supplies from the Public Health Ministry.

Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary for public health, however, insisted all provinces will by next Monday receive some COVID-19 vaccines as about 2 million doses of both the AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines are being distributed to the provinces.

Priority will, however, be given to those provinces with more serious COVID-19 situations and provinces included in the government’s special policies such as tourism promotion, he said.

In Udon Thani, for instance, Udon Thani Hospital on Thursday announced the postponement of vaccination appointments already booked for 246,000 elderly people and people with underlying medical conditions until further notice, said Dr Phatcharin Klinphayom, a medicine specialist at the hospital.

These appointments were previously scheduled to take place from next Monday until Wednesday, she said.

The province has received only 3,600 doses of AstraZeneca, while well over 1.1 million people have registered for inoculation with their appointments already confirmed, she said.

Appointments for the second vaccine shot for people who have previously been given the first one of the Sinovac vaccine in Udon Thani are still on, though, she said.

The vaccination postponement also affected about 300 health volunteers who were due to get their first shots of the COVID-19 vaccine today, said Dr Methipot Chatamethikun, director of the medical division of Udon Thani’s municipality.

Lampang, which has the second-largest number of people registered for vaccination in the country, on Thursday called off its inoculation plan, citing low supplies of vaccines received.