Four million school students aged 12–18 years old to be inoculated in Thailand

A medical worker prepares another shot of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in Samut Prakan province mid this month. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

Four million school students aged 12–18 years old to be inoculated in Thailand

Vaccinations before schools reopen

27 August 2021

The Education Ministry intends to inoculate more than 4 million students aged 12–18 years old with the Pfizer vaccine next month, a senior ministry official says.

Kanokwan Vilawan, deputy minister, told a House meeting on Thursday the ministry will roll out 3 million Pfizer vaccine doses, arriving in September, for students aged 12–18 across the country. The ministry is seeking more doses to cover the more than 4 million students earmarked for vaccination.

Ms Kanokwan said the vaccination is projected to be completed in a month before schools reopen, adding over 600,000 out of 900,000 teachers nationwide have been vaccinated.

She was addressing concerns aired by Pheu Thai MP Manit Sangphum on social media about poor education quality and the need for the acceleration of learning in schools.

The Department of Disease Control (DDC) has been distributing the vaccine doses donated by the United States. The doses have been administered as boosters to medical personnel and frontline workers who have already received two shots.

Ramathibodi Hospital, Siriraj Hospital and Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital in Bangkok will be responsible for the vaccine distribution while local hospitals in the surrounding provinces, comprising of Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, and Pathum Thani, will handle the roll-out. A total of 1,503,450 Pfizer doses donated by the US arrived in Thailand early this month.

Besides the 700,000 doses set aside as boosters for the health workers, 645,000 doses will be allocated to the elderly and patients with seven underlying conditions, minors above 12 years old, and women who are 12 or more weeks pregnant.

About 150,000 doses are for expats who are elderly or are suffering from one or more of seven underlying conditions, pregnant women, and students planning to go abroad.

There are also 5,000 doses for research purposes and 40,000 doses to be held in reserve for outbreaks.

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has visited vulnerable groups at home to vaccinate them.

Bangkok governor Pol Gen Aswin Kwanmuang and officers of the Health Department have inspected the vaccinations of a 96-year-old bed-ridden woman, a 77-year-old man and a 67-year-old bed-ridden woman at their houses in Sathon district with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

This comes after the BMA opened vaccination bookings on the web for members of vulnerable groups who cannot leave their home.

Pol Gen Aswin said the BMA has mobilised officers from the Health Department, 69 public health centres and 50 district offices to roll out the jabs at residents’ homes for three months.