Dr Sopon Mekthon, vice-minister at the ministry, said a panel of advisers to the public health minister had agreed that Thailand still needed more doses of COVID-19 vaccines, in addition to the planned 63 million doses, some of which have already arrived, reports the Bangkok Post.
Thailand has a population of about 65mn. If about 15mn teenagers were subtracted from the sum, the number of those eligible for vaccines would be about 50mn, plus another 5mn foreign migrants, Dr Sopon said.
With a calculation based on 80% of the 55mn people, about 40mn would receive two jabs of vaccines each which would require about 80mn doses, he said.
Apart from the planned 63mn doses, about 15-20mn more should be procured, though details regarding the prices had yet to be discussed, Dr Sopon said.
Dr Paisarn Dunkum, secretary-general of the FDA, said yesterday the private sector was welcome to import vaccines, though they needed to register with the FDA first. So far, no private hospitals have applied for registration, Dr Paisarn said.
Apart from Sinovac and AstraZeneca, other vaccine producers such as Johnson & Johnson and Bharat Biotech have applied for registration, Dr Paisarn said.
Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin said yesterday (Mar 4) that an idea had been mooted to procure vaccines for around 2.3mn foreign migrant workers under the social security system.
“However, this is just an idea. The board of the Social Security Office is studying its possibility. No purchase has been made yet,” Mr Suchart said.
He said that if the vaccination for migrant workers is to materialise, it will take place only after most Thais receive vaccines.
The Public Health Ministry yesterday reported that another 99 people who had received COVID-19 vaccines experienced unpleasant conditions or side-effects, taking the accumulated number of cases to 119.
Of the 99 vaccine recipients, 59 had localised soreness while 19 experienced nausea; 11 had chest tightness; six had body chills; two had fevers, one felt fatigue and one had body aches.