Nearly 90 percent of people in Bangkok receive first shot

Thailand’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout is gaining traction as nearly 90 percent of people in Bangkok have received the first vaccine shot, while 27 percent are already fully inoculated. The campaign is now expanding across the country.

That is good news for Thailand’s capital, which before the pandemic was ranked as the world’s most visited city in three of the last ten years. A spokesman for the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority said that 87 percent of the 6.7 million people living in the capital had been inoculated with at least one shot.

Thailand is producing the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at a new facility under license from the company. It is the first time Thailand is manufacturing a higher technology vaccine. The recently opened facility is gearing up for greater output.

In addition, Thailand is committed to exporting a percentage of the doses it has manufactured to other countries in the region that are also in need of vaccines.

To make up for the shortfall, the Kingdom is also importing the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, and the Moderna formulation. Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines from China are also available in Thailand.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has set a target to reopen Thailand to foreign tourists and visitors in October. The Kingdom is currently managing a fourth wave of outbreaks because of the delta variant.

Gradually, new daily infections have been falling and a number of local businesses are back to usual business provided that they comply with social distancing and other safety measures.

The Prime Minister mentioned that the timing of the reopening to visitors from overseas would depend upon the COVID-19 situation and trend at that time.