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Covid vaccines should go first to worst-affected provinces: poll

Myanmar migrant workers move to a field hospital in Muang district of Samut Sakhon, one of the hardest-hit provinces in the new Covid-19 outbreak. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
Myanmar migrant workers move to a field hospital in Muang district of Samut Sakhon, one of the hardest-hit provinces in the new Covid-19 outbreak. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

A majority of people say provinces most affected by the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak should get vaccines first, according to an opinion survey by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

The poll was conducted through telephone interviews on Feb 15-17 on 1,318 people aged 15 and over of various levels of education and occupations throughout the country. Respondents were asked to break down prioritisation of vaccinations by province, age group and occupation.

More than half of respondents — 56.90% — said provinces with high infection rates in the second wave of the outbreak should be given priority. A further 16.77% said vaccinations should begin at the same time in all provinces; 10.70% favoured provinces with important tourist attractions; 10.39% cited all border provinces; and 5.24% favoured provinces with a high number of industrial investments.

Asked which age groups should get vaccinated first, 38.01% chose those in the working age group of 20-59, while 37.10% would prirotise the elderly aged 60 and over. A further 15.10% said people in all age groups should get a jab at the same time, while 9.79% favoured youths and children aged below 20.

Asked which occupations should get priority, 40.48% chose medical and health staff; 14.41% manual labourers; 8.87% workers in tourism-related businesses; 7.59% everyone at the same time; 5.29% workers in the travel and transport industries; 4.93% students; 4.85% business operators and freelance workers; 4.38% government officials and state enterprise workers; 3.82% employees of private companies; 3.49% heads of families, retirees and the jobless; 1.41% people in the farming sector; and 0.48% for politicians.

Asked whether vaccination for foreigners in the country should be compulsory, 44.54% said “yes”; 28.22% said it should be voluntary; 26.25% said vaccination should be compulsory only for foreigners from high-risk countries; and 0.99% had no comment or were not interested.

Asked whether foreigners in Thailand should pay the cost of vaccination by themselves, 38.92% said all foreigners should pay for the vaccine; 31.72% said only foreigners who pay taxes should get free vaccinations; 25.72% said all foreigners should be vaccinated free of charge; 0.68% said foreigners and the government should share the cost of the vaccine evenly; and 2.96% had no comment or were not interested.

Reference