Thailand’s education ministry to inoculate 4.5 million students with Pfizer starting October

Education minister Treenuch Thienthong has revealed a plan to start inoculation of students in all 29 of Thailand’s COVID-19 “dark red” provinces in October, so that the second semester of the academic year can commence without online learning.

Students who are eligible for two shots of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are those aged from 12 to 18 on the day of the inoculation at all schools.

The goal is to give at least one shot of vaccine to all eligible students. The minister noted, however, that the inoculation is on a voluntary basis.

Over 70% of school staff have already been vaccinated. The rest will get their shots after more vaccines are allocated, starting next month, said the minister.

Over 15,000 schools are located in the 29 COVID-19 “dark red” provinces. The Ministry of Education is considering the readiness of the schools to start the next semester.

The progress of the “Sandbox Safety Zone in School” (SSS) project, aimed at helping boarding students to return to schools, was also revealed during Monday’s press conference.

Boarding schools can join the project voluntarily, after discussing the possibility with parents as well as the provincial disease control committee, by applying to their affiliated offices.

Schools under the SSS project will offer an in-school isolation centre and a safety zone. They will also be inspected and assessed, both by the public health and the education ministries.

The first lot of Pfizer vaccine, 2 million doses of the 30 million ordered, will arrive in Thailand on September 29th, according to Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.



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