Almost half of the 1.5 million doses of Pfizer Covid-19 donated by the United States will be used as booster doses for frontline medical staff.
A participant in a protest in Chiang Mai on 1 August 2021 carrying a banner saying "Pfizer is for frontliners, not the shameless." (Photo by Wanna Taemtong).
The vaccines arrived in Thailand last Friday (30 July) and will be reportedly administered to medical staff around 5 – 6 August.
The US Embassy in Thailand said that the vaccines “do not come with strings attached” but are donated in order to help Thailand accelerate its vaccination programme and ensure that its economy can recover quickly. The Embassy also said that the US will donate a further one million doses to Thailand.
Thai PBS reported that 700,000 doses will be allocated to frontline medical staff as booster doses, 654,000 doses will be administered to the elderly, those with chronic illness, and pregnant women, while 150,000 doses will be going to high-risk foreigners and those who need to be vaccinated before traveling overseas. 5000 doses are also allocated for research purposes, while the remaining 40,000 doses are reserved for future outbreaks.
The Standard reported that according to a resolution of the Department of Disease Control’s working group on allocating the Pfizer vaccines, medical staff are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine only if they work directly with Covid-19 patients, and if they have received 2 doses of the Sinovac vaccine and have not received the AstraZeneca vaccine as a booster dose.
Medical staff who have received 2 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine or have received the AstraZeneca booster dose will not be allocated the Pfizer vaccine, and neither will those who have received a combination of Sinovac and AstraZeneca, or any other vaccine. Staff who have not yet been vaccinated, or have received only one dose will also not be allocated the Pfizer vaccine, which will only be used as a booster dose.
18,912 new cases of Covid-19 were reported on 31 July, bringing the total number of cases since April 2021 to 569, 424, while 178 people were reported to have died, bringing the death toll since April 2021 to 4,763.
According to the Department of Disease Control, 13,640,179 people out of a population of over 66 million have received their first dose of vaccine as of 31 July, while 3,851,453 people have been fully vaccinated.
On 2 August, the Ministry of Public Health announced that medical staff who have received 2 doses of the Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccine will now be eligible for 1 dose of the Pfizer vaccine as a booster dose, while saff who have received 1 dose of any vaccine will be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine as their second dose. Those who have not yet been vaccinated will be eligible for 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, while those who have had contracted Covid-19 and have not been vaccinated will receive 1 dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
The Ministry also said that staff who have received a dose of the Sinovac vaccine and 1 dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, 2 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, or 2 doses of the Sinovac vaccine and 1 dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a booster dose will not be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine at this time, but they will be registered and may receive the Pfizer vaccine in the future.