Prayut lists vaccine procurement plan, dismisses claims of tardiness
A batch of 500,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine will be delivered to Thailand on Saturday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced after the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
He added that an additional 1 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine will be delivered in May, though the final decision will depend on the Chinese government.
The premier added that private hospitals are willing to help administer the inoculations, which should speed up the process.
Meanwhile, up to 6 million doses of the locally produced AstraZeneca vaccine should be ready for distribution in June and production will speed up from July onwards to ensure 61 million doses are administered by the end of the year.
“The National Vaccine Institute is negotiating with Pfizer and up to 10 million doses will likely be delivered between July and the end of the year, provided the price and conditions can be agreed upon. A Thai company is also developing a vaccine, but that will be considered later,” Prayut said.
As for complaints on social media about the government not allowing private firms to import Covid-19 vaccines, Prayut said he had instructed the Public Health Ministry to do this all along. However, he said, the procedure of procuring vaccines is a long-winded process and manufacturers have not been able to keep up with the demand.
The prime minister also defended his government, saying it had not been slow in procuring the vaccine and people should not believe everything they hear. “Health officials have hastened the inoculation procedure nationwide, especially in Bangkok. The government has also reserved vaccines for emergency and promises to create herd immunity as soon as possible,” he said.