Thai businesses offer premises for vaccinations

Over 200 Thai businesses have offered to make their premises available to the public for COVID-19 vaccinations as the government began its drive to inoculate as many people as possible, as rapidly as possible.

Thai Chamber of Commerce Chairman Sanan Angubolkul said that 234 businesses had joined the effort so far and that 49 of them were located in Bangkok, one of the hardest-hit provinces in the most recent outbreak.

The businesses include hotels, shopping malls, commercial banks and others. Sanan said the Chamber would inspect the sites offered to judge whether they would be appropriate before recommending them to the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority, the city’s governing agency.

The recommended locations must have adequate space for social distancing, good ventilation and be within 10 to 15 minutes of a hospital in case anyone has a severe reaction to a vaccine.

Thailand is in the very early stages of its vaccination program. The Kingdom’s Food and Drug Administration has approved three vaccines from three makers: AstraZeneca, Sinovac and Johnson & Johnson. Acquiring sufficient supplies, however, has been the main challenge because of global demand.

Thailand has had one of the world’s most successful responses to stopping the spread of COVID-19. The government mandated strict measures to address two previous outbreaks, and those were quickly brought under control. However, the Kingdom currently is now dealing with a third outbreak that will once again test the efficiency of the healthcare system as well as public-private cooperation.

The key to Thailand’s effective response has been broad-based cooperation by the people of the Kingdom and the private sector.