11 July 2024

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha gave an assurance today (Tuesday) that vaccination services at Bangkok’s Bang Sue Grand Station will continue as normal, but social distancing measures must be tightened and walk-in services will be suspended from August 1st.

From August 1st, vaccination services at this facility, which are currently limited to elderly people and those afflicted with any of the seven underlying diseases, will be extended to cover those over 18, especially women who are over 12 weeks pregnant and people who weigh more than 100kgs.

The prime minister’s assurance refuted speculation that the facility will be closed down or transferred to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).

He said that people who want to be inoculated must register in advance for appointments, so that they can go straight to the vaccination points, and healthy people will be exempted from blood pressure checks, which will reduce some formalities, allowing more people to be inoculated.

The prime minister praised the Bang Sue facility, jointly operated by the Transport and Public Health ministries, for its performance in vaccinating an average of 27,500 people a day.

To ease congestion at this facility, the prime minister has proposed staggered operating hours, with the morning session for elderly people and the afternoons for other groups.

The prime minister held a video conference this morning with senior health officials, to follow up on the vaccination operations at Bang Sue Grand Station and at Busarakham field hospital.

He said that he would like to visit the field hospital, to offer moral support to the medics working there, but could not do so because of the safety restrictions. Instead, he listened to a briefing about the situation at the hospital, given by its director, Dr. Kittisak Aksornwong.

Open since May 14th, the hospital has treated 12,268 COVID-19 patients, most of whom have recovered and been discharged, leaving 3,592 still undergoing treatment, including 770 who need ventilators.

Just over 16 million vaccine doses have been administered across the country to date, with 8.76 million people, or about 12.5% of the entire population, receiving only their first doses, and 3.6 million people, or only 5.2%, being fully vaccinated.