Thailand vaccine rollout sparks optimism of tourism and economic recovery

The start of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Thailand has sparked optimism of tourism and economic recovery. (Photo – Pattaya Bikini Run ‘Glow in the dark’ on beach to return soon this year)

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha reassured the general public in a specific PM Podcast on Thailand’s financial stability, citing the latest evaluation from the Big Thee credit rating agencies S&P, Moody’s, and Fitch.

According to the Prime Minister the three companies still retain Thailand’s confidence rating due to high international reserves, and good fiscal discipline and stability.

By the end of 2020, Thailand’s treasury balance was recorded at 473 billion baht, which is 49.5% higher than the previous fiscal year. The national economy is expected to grow better following the start ofthe COVID-19 vaccine rollout, and economic measures introduced by the government.

On the vaccination campaign, the Prime Minister said the first 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech have already been distributed to 13 first priority provinces.

Around 3,000 medical workers are among the first to receive this vaccine, with people who have already had their first jab reporting mild reactions.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said that the government has continued to put measures in place to help affected people, while reassuring the general public the country’s financial stability remains good.

The Prime Minister said the country has already pre-purchased 26 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, with plans to purchase 35 million more COVID-19 vaccines, in order to vaccinate half the country’s population by the end of this year.

On the request from private firms to import COVID-19 vaccines, the Prime Minister said the government and the Ministry of Public Health will allow these imports, given that the vaccines have been approved for emergency usage by the Food and Drugs Administration.

So far, four importers have filed for approval of their vaccine with the FDA, namely AstraZeneca, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization, Janssen-Cilag, and Biogenetech.

The Prime Minister said more doses of Sinovac’s vaccine are arriving soon in the second and third deliveries, and will be distributed among more groups of people, especially in tourist areas, while stressing there is no preferential treatment for VIPs in the vaccination campaign. (NNT)