A total of 1,503,450 million doses of US-donated Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines has arrived in Thailand today, July 30th, as part of the U.S. support to help what they call their oldest ally in Asia to fight the global pandemic.
However, not everyone is happy about it, as many American ex-pats have continued to call for US officials and the embassy to give some of the vaccines to foreign US residents of Thailand, especially those who are elderly and vulnerable, and pay taxes that help support both the embassy and vaccines. Comments left on the US embassy social media pages today were primarily negative responses from US ex-pats demanding that their country helps give them vaccines, as did China and France.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul also arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport this morning to inspect the vaccine and the vaccine storage containers before being stored at a local storage with -70 degrees Celsius temperature.
As Pfizer vaccines must be mixed with normal saline before injections, a single bottle can be injected into six people. However, the vaccine will be stored at a temperature of 2-8 degrees Celsius after being distributed at vaccine centers, which will shorten the life of the vaccine. Therefore, the injection must be completed within 4 weeks.
According to the US Embassy, the United States will provide an additional one million vaccine doses to Thailand, on top of the doses that arrived today, for a total of 2.5 million doses. More details will be announced later.
The Public Health Ministry would then proceed with the allocation procedure to the target groups as planned by the Covid-19 vaccine working group as follows:
- Medical personnel and front-liners who are currently working and in close contact with Covid-19 patients across the country (as the third dose for immunity boost) in the amount of 700,000 doses
- Thai patients in severe condition and high risk of dying from Covid-19 infection in a total of 645,000 doses
- People who suffered from seven chronic diseases, aged 12 years and older
- Pregnant women with 12 weeks of pregnancy or more
- Foreigners living in Thailand, prioritizing the elderly, chronic disease patients, and 12-week pregnant women, and travelers who need to receive the Pfizer vaccine before departures, such as diplomats or students, for 150,000 doses. This did not specifically state American nationals would be prioritized or even included.
- A research study (Approved by the Ethics Research Committee) for 5,000 doses
- Long-term storage in case of possible further outbreaks for 40,000 doses
Photo Courtesy: United States Embassy in Thailand
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