Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesperson Dr Apisamai Srisangson confirms all vaccine doses are being logged and all adverse reactions are being investigated. She also confirmed that compensation and health care costs will be paid by the government.
A strong takeup on the government’s vaccine drive in the opening days of Phase Two has exposed supply bottlenecks leading to an apology from Prime Minister Prayut Chan ocha. It has also seen 28 people die after receiving a vaccine with the Department of Disease Control ruling out 12 immediately as not linked to the doses while 16 are under investigation.
The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) revealed on Wednesday that in the previous two opening days of Phase Two of the government’s vaccine drive, no less than 888,975 vaccines were administered to the public bringing the total vaccination rate with one dose to 5.2% of the population with 2% fully vaccinated.
Dr Apisamai Srisangson paid tribute to the efforts at both national and local level to bring this about and keep the operation moving forward.
Phase Two is targeting all adults over 60 and with underlying conditions.
This comes to 19 million people including 11 million over 60, 6.1 million with underlying conditions and 1.7 million health professionals.
PM sounds an apologetic tone over vaccine shortages
She revealed since the end of February 5.107 million doses had been administered in Thailand with 17.4% of these just in the last two days alone.
Nevertheless, with reports of a shortage of supplies, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, on Tuesday, sounded an apologetic note when he addressed reporters and the public at Government House in Bangkok on the question of bottlenecks in the supply of vaccine doses throughout the country as public demand for the vaccine remains high.
‘I must apologise to anyone who experienced inconvenience,’ he said. ‘The government will try to acquire as many more vaccines as possible and not just wait for contracted vaccines.’
Shipments of vaccines not keeping pace with strong demand for vaccination among the public, 76% used
The problem appears to be that shipments of vaccine doses are not moving fast enough to keep up with the successful opening pace of vaccination.
On the question of the supply of vaccines, a Department of Disease Control official, Dr Chawetsan Namwat, revealed that, so far, 6,756,493 vaccine doses had been allocated to venues for vaccination nationwide.
These comprised 4,982,313 doses of Sinovac and 1,774,180 doses of AstraZeneca.
This means that 76% of the vaccines delivered up to last weekend have already been administered with 1,649,424 doses currently in the system.
1 million Sinovac doses on Thursday with another AstraZeneca shipment promised on June 14th
Officials on Wednesday were quick to point out that 1 million more Sinovac doses were due on Thursday and announced the delivery of AstraZeneca vaccines on June 14th.
At the same time, Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul explained that vaccines were being shipped to all provinces and it was incumbent on all provincial officials to manage their supplies well.
Questions over Pathum Thani vaccine production facility with foreign reports of production difficulties
This development in Thailand is coming as there are reports from government sources in Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan that suggest deliveries of AztraZeneca vaccines to those Southeast Asian countries have been delayed from June until July because of production difficulties in Thailand at the Siam Bioscience plant in Pathum Thani.
When asked by reporters, in the last 24 hours, as to the meaning of the reports, Science Minister Khairy Jamaluddin did not respond to journalists asking for specifics. Neither did the plant itself when contacted by the media
Thailand received 1.8 million doses last week from the plant which was a positive breakthrough but there are now concerns being expressed about the facility and its capacity to meet the demand and commitments to supply the kingdom and other countries including a reported 17 million doses to the Philippines and 12.8 million doses to Malaysia.
Third wave still rages with infections and deaths stubbornly high with more clusters in Bangkok
At the same time, the infection rate and deaths within the country remain stubbornly high with 35 deaths reported on Wednesday together with 2,680 new infections.
There is also anxiety about the increasing number of clusters in the capital Bangkok reported at 70 and infections in workplaces as the government pushes ahead with the vaccine drive which retains the support of the public.
28 people died after receiving vaccines including a 46-year-old woman in Bangkok who received an AstraZeneca dose, body taken for autopsy
Dr Apisamai, at her briefing on Wednesday, then dealt with adverse reactions to the vaccines and confirmed that 28 people had died after receiving doses.
12 of these have been ruled by the Department of Disease Control as having nothing to do with the jabs but 16 cases were placed under investigation.
There was no breakdown of which vaccines had caused the adverse symptoms or deaths but several news reports indicated a 46-year-old Bangkok woman died after being injected with the AstraZeneca vaccine and was taken to Bhumibol Adulyadej Hospital for an autopsy.
In recent days, it is also known that a police officer developed stroke symptoms and had to be hospitalised after receiving the Sinovac vaccine.
Compensation and healthcare costs to be paid for those who are proven to have suffered adverse reactions as officials log all inoculations
On Wednesday, Dr Apisamai revealed the Ministry of Public Health is following up on all people who have received a vaccine dose and is logging all adverse reactions.
She also alluded to compensation and the costs of hospital care that may be made available to those impacted.
‘If an adverse reaction is reported, the committee will investigate whether it is dangerous or not. Those who have adverse reactions will receive immediate care. Some of you may return to the hospital for treatment. Some of you may need to follow up to receive compensation for the cost of care as well,’ she said.