Mass vaccinations could begin as soon as next week as supplies have arrived earlier than anticipated, said Natapanu Nopakun, the deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in his daily English-language briefing on the coronavirus response, reports the Bangkok Post.
He did not specify which vaccine brands were available or the quantities delivered. However, the programme would move ahead quickly once supplies were available, he indicated.
“The efficiency of vaccine jabs is not an issue for Thailand,” he said. “We can give doses very fast once we have the vaccines in hand.”
The government has said that all residents of Thailand ‒ including expats, migrant workers and other foreigners ‒ would be eligible for free vaccinations. However, there has been confusion about the registration process.
The current Mor Prom (“doctors ready”) mobile app and Line account is in Thai only, and a Thai ID number is required to register. However, some expats who hold so-called pink ID cards, which come with a Thai ID number, reported being able to book vaccination times.
The Ministry of Public Health subsequently said the app was not intended to be used by foreigners.
Mr Natapanu clarified on Saturday that a new app especially for foreigners was in development.
“As soon as the Mor Prom application is ready for foreign nationals, we will let you know,” he said.
Even if they do not make bookings using an app, foreigners will be eligible to use walk-in vaccination services as soon as they are officially opened, he added.
“For walk-in vaccination services, any provinces that are ready to provide the vaccines can commence operations immediately.”
However, authorities would like to make services to foreigners available in English and other languages if possible. “To ensure official facilitation and prevent any language miscommunication, separate facilities for foreign nationals are being discussed,” he said.
As of Friday, the spokesman said, authorities had delivered 2.2 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine, including 800,000 second doses.