PM Prayut during his Cabinet meeting today. Credit: Government House

Mass vaccination for Bangkok residents in the next two months: PM Prayut

PM Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has reiterated that a mass vaccination program is set for at least 70% of the population in the capital to shield them from the fast-spreading of Covid-19

As authorities are working out ways to stem the fast-spreading of Covid-19 in the capital, which has become the hotspot of the third wave outbreak, of which the infection trend still shows no sign of any weakening, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha today has thrown his support to them, affirming that a mass vaccination program is set for Bangkok residents.

The PM has revealed during his weekly press briefing as well as in a post on his FB page that he called for an urgent meeting yesterday after the capital had encountered a surge of cases and clusters, and he and the public health experts had agreed on a mass vaccination program for Bangkok residents. This is part of the measures being implemented including active case finding and personal disease control measures.

According to the PM, at least 70% of the population in the capital should be inoculated over the next two months in a hope that herd immunity would be boosted to help shield them from the virus. Bangkok, he said, is the high-risk area and centre of the country’s economy.

The PM also reiterated that mass vaccination against Covid-19 is the national agenda that he has just declared and it must go forward. However, there may be unclear points to be clarified, but the idea is the program will be opened for all citizens, including workforce who contribute to the country’s economy, the PM point.

Aside from using the application Mor Prom for booking, people can register on-site, or come in groups as part of strategic vaccination for professions in need such as medical staff working on the frontline, or those in public services, the PM said, while refraining from using the word, Walk-in, he earlier introduced and that prompted people to flood some vaccination centres without clear procedures given.

“I beg your pardon if the announcement has caused you some frustration, but we are fixing it now, and I would like to stress here that everyone in this country will receive the vaccine.

“My policy is we must inoculate people with the first shot en mass and as fast as possible. So, we will not wait until one group has finished receiving it, but will open for anyone ready for it, especially the workforce so they can move on with lives,” said PM Prayut.

Unabated clusters

The Prime Minister’s affirmation comes as the country continues to have been hit relatively hard by the virus, especially its capital, Bangkok.

According to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration’s spokesperson, Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin, the outbreak remains unabated in the city’s 19 districts, with 22 clusters being under close watch and one new cluster added.

Concerned authorities have been attempting to stem the outbreak with active case finding in a bid to separate those infected from their communities or environment.

The mass vaccination program was discussed among them yesterday before the PM has approved it.

As of today, Thailand has seen cumulative cases surpassing the first 100,000 already (113, 555 today). The cases from the third wave alone are recorded at 84,692, with Bangkok and its peripheries having contributed a large chunk to this number, 43,117 ( Bangkok’s is 28,658).

Read: Bangkok still the centre of Covid-19 concern as the infection shows no sign of weakening