Thailand’s government has pledged to distribute 124 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to people within this year, including those in Rayong and Chonburi (Pattaya City) provinces which are set to reopen to foreign visitors.
Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha said Rayong and Chonburi will be among the provinces to reopen, based on the Phuket “sandbox”, with relaxed business restrictions and to boost the economy.
He said, if the government’s mass inoculation scheme goes as planned and there is no outbreak caused by a new virus variant, Thailand can reopen its borders. The reopening plan is expected to be a new economic driver, in addition to growing exports.
Mr. Sathit added that the National Vaccine Institute and the Public Health Ministry also plan to purchase at least 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for use next year as booster shots and to deal with variants of the virus. The procurement is necessary as virus mutations emerge and as a second-generation of COVID-19 vaccines is being developed. (NNT)