More than 87 percent of Pattaya’s allocation of coronavirus vaccines for children ages 12-18 has been administered as first shots.
More than 2,400 students continued their inoculations Oct. 20 at Pattaya School No. 2.
Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome said 5,300 teenage students are eligible to receive jabs of Pfizer Inc. Covid-19 vaccine, and parents of 4,660 of those students have signed up the kids for shots, or 88 percent.
He called the high percentage a good sign and optimistically added he thought 100 percent of all teenagers could be inoculated. That, however, is unlikely, especially given a rising public wave of vaccine hesitancy that has emerged among youths.
The mayor said, nonetheless, he has requested more vaccine doses from Chonburi with hopes they will be accepted.
Sonthaya said the successful vaccine drive means schools likely can reopen as hoped in November.
Thailand estimates 5 million teenagers qualify for the Pfizer shots and 3.6 million of them – or their parents – have signed up for jabs. But among the 28 percent that haven’t registered – as well as a portion of those whose parents registered for their children’s inoculations – there is real reluctance to get vaccinated.
In online posts containing the hashtag #ไฟเซอร์นักเรียน (“Pfizer for students”), concerns were raised about the side effects of vaccines and fear that Pfizer will be mischievously replaced by shots of CoronaVac, made by China’s Sinovac Biotech. Both reasons reflect the significant mistrust young Thais have in the current military-backed government.