Thai PM apologises as many vaccination appointments postponed
As many people have seen their vaccination appointments cancelled or postponed, due to insufficient allocation of doses to several parts of the country, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha apologised at a press conference today (Tuesday), saying more vaccines are being procured.
“I would like to apologise if there are people who have not received the service or if there have been changes to your appointments. I am stressing the principles I have outlined, will fix the issue and will compensate those who have been affected as soon as possible,” said the prime minister after this week’s cabinet meeting.
According to the prime minister:
- Every province will receive the vaccines, so that inoculations can begin at the same time. “No province will be left behind,” he said.
- The vaccine allocation is based on size of the population, age, infection numbers, risk groups, occupations and whether the provinces are tourist destinations or economically significant areas. Each province is responsible for allocating vaccines to its hospitals.
- Everyone who has booked their vaccination appointments will be inoculated and as many original appointments as possible will be kept.
Meanwhile, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul denied any postponement of vaccine allocations by the ministry. He added that the ministry has clear guidelines for vaccine distribution and that each hospital needs to manage its vaccination administration in accordance with the doses provided each week.
“There’s no postponement by the Public Health Ministry but, if people seek inoculations with private companies, which hire hospitals to do it and then postpone the appointment, this is out of our control, because we’re only responsible for administering vaccines to target groups,” Mr. Anutin said today.
More than 400,000 people across the country were inoculated yesterday (Monday), the first day of mass inoculations campaign. Over 4.6 million doses have been administered to date.
In Bangkok, 13,052 were vaccinated yesterday, at 25 designated sites outside hospitals in the capital. According to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, each site is able to accommodate up to 590 people per day during the first week. From June 15th onwards, however, their capacities are expected to increase, in accordance with vaccine dose allocation from the Public Health Ministry.