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Government denies oversupply of vaccine

BANGKOK: The Public Health Ministry has denied accusations by the Rural Doctor Society (RDS) that it has flooded remote hospitals with COVID-19 vaccines, saying such quantities were justified to expand immunisation coverage.

By Bangkok Post

Saturday 4 June 2022, 08:07AM

Photo: Bangkok Post.

Photo: Bangkok Post.

Dr Suthep Phetmak, the ministry’s chief inspector, insisted it was crucial for people across the country to have access to the vaccine close to their homes.

“It is precisely the reason the vaccine was distributed to the HPH [health promotion hospitals] in the tambons in the outlying areas of the country,” he said.

People in rural locations need the vaccines to be made easily and conveniently available to them and HPHs are the closest medical facilities for many local residents, he noted.

Distribution of the vaccines to the HPHs was approved a month ago by the ministry’s emergency operations centre (EOC) after a low vaccination rate was found among the rural population, reports the Bangkok Post.

Many members of the public have shown a reluctance to get jabbed because they are loath to travel far from their home to an inoculation site, or because they had no one to take them to the vaccination facilities.

Dr Sethep said the ministry has delivered the Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines to the HPHs.

So far, 138 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, of which 81% were first doses and 75% were second doses. Only 40% were booster shots, according to the chief health inspector.

Earlier, the RDS criticised the ministry for sending the vaccine without adequate refrigeration at the HPHs.

There are almost 10,000 such facilities in tambons nationwide. The RDS estimated that about 16 million doses bought using taxpayers’ money will expire soon.

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Kurt | 04 June 2022 - 11:31:16

Think it is good to have vacines 'abundance' as stil many people across country not yet got a 2nd dose, not yet talking about a 3rd dose ( booster). Perhaps it is good to anticipate on possible future Covid wave and continue vaccination? In Europe are signals about a next Covid wave. Starting now in Portugal.

JohnC | 04 June 2022 - 09:05:56

Last year when covid delta was rampant you could not get any vaccinations out in the boondocks. My wife was stuck in Beungkhan last year for 9 months waiting to be vaccinated before she could return to Phuket. Now they have an over abundance when the main crisis has well and truly passed us by.


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