COVID-19 vaccinations in Thailand have surpassed 50 million doses after a record 1.44 million were administered on Friday.
Of the doses given on Friday, 947,290 were the first shot, 320,864 were the second and the rest were the booster shot, according to government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul had set a 1-million-dose goal for Friday to mark Mahidol Day.
“The prime minister believes the target of 100 million doses or 50 million people, or 70% of targeted groups, will be achieved by the end of this year as planned,” Mr Wangboonkongchana said on Saturday.
Mr Charnvirakul thanked health workers and people for their cooperation.
He said the first shots now covered 44.45% of the population and 57.44% of the target groups. A total of 16.6 million people, or 23.9% of the population, have received two shots.
For the rest of the year, the ministry has procured 125 million doses.
They include another 30 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine due to arrive by the end of September, which would be given to youths aged 12-18, he added.
Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, attributed the accelerated vaccination speed to the 15.7 million doses Thailand received this month.
“We’ll get another 24 million doses in October — 30 million if those of the alternative vaccine Sinopharm is included — and 23-24 million doses in November to December. We believe the vaccination rate would leapfrog from now on.”
The department has set monthly coverage as percentages of the population from October to December at 58%, 71% and 85% for the first shot and 45%, 60% and 74% for the second shot.