Firms offer spaces to boost vaccine drive

Thai Chamber of Commerce chairman Sanan Angubolkul
Thai Chamber of Commerce chairman Sanan Angubolkul

More than 200 businesses nationwide have offered their premises as Covid-19 vaccination centres to help speed up inoculations, Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) chairman Sanan Angubolkul said on Tuesday.

A total of 234 businesses, all TCC members, have rallied behind the national vaccination programme, he said, adding 49 are in Bangkok. They include hotels, commercial outlets and shopping malls.

The TCC will examine the sites before recommending them to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA). It is not clear during what hours they are offering the premises.

It is expected the first seven locations will be selected by the BMA this month, he said, adding more would be added to the list if they meet certain criteria. Ideally, inoculation sites should be easily accessible with convenient connections to public transport. It should have sufficient car parking space and be able to handle at least 2,000 people a day.

Such spaces must also have ample room for social distancing and a well-ventilated waiting area. The internet should also be available so public health and medical workers can relay test results and other essential information.

In addition, the premises need to be within 10-15 minute travel distance to the nearest hospitals. Mr Sanan said locations used as vaccination sites in Bangkok will become a model for similar sites in the provinces.

The private sector is stepping up to the plate out of concern the BMA might find it hard to find enough places to deliver shots within a short space of time, as large batches of vaccines are due to arrive in the next 2-3 months, the TCC chairman added.

Meanwhile, Department of Disease Control director-general Opas Karnkawinpong said on Tuesday vaccinations were proceeding faster than planned.

Between Feb 28 and April 12, about 505,200 people received the first of two doses. Another 73,300 people have been given their second jabs.

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