Pattaya remains ready to purchase its own coronavirus vaccines amid the government’s constantly changing immunization plan, Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome said.
Speaking to the media June 1, Kunplome said he believes Chonburi Province will remain near the front of the queue for vaccine distribution even after the government changed its vaccination strategy for the fourth time May 26.
Drawing bitter rebukes from opposition parties over its constant flip-flops on acquiring and distributing Covid-19 shots, the government suspended registration via its Mor Phrom mobile application and instead said vaccines would be distributed based on need, with the Bangkok metropolitan region getting the lion’s share of doses as the third wave continues to produce more than 1,000 Covid-19 cases a day there.
The distribution plan also would prioritize economic and tourism centers and areas with large populations of at-risk people, such as teachers, public-transport drivers and the like.
Sonthaya said Chonburi – which reported 29 cases on Wednesday (8 in Pattaya) and 47 on Tuesday – remains a “red” zone for coronavirus surveillance, is a major tourism center and has many people at risk for the virus. Therefore, it should still rank behind Bangkok for need.
The mayor said he is confident vaccines will be fairly distributed. However, he said, the city also remains ready to purchase its own allotments of any approved vaccine if given permission by the central government.
Both Pattaya City and Nongprue Subdistrict said in January they had set aside millions of baht to purchase vaccines, if allowed. So far, however, that approval has not been forthcoming.
Deputy Mayor Manote Nongyai said local registration for vaccinations will continue and, once the city receives its allotments, registered residents will be notified.