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SATURDAY, February 04, 2023
Foreign Ministry denies being lax in procuring jabs from other countries

Foreign Ministry denies being lax in procuring jabs from other countries

WEDNESDAY, September 08, 2021

The Foreign Ministry on Wednesday dismissed accusations that it has refused to cooperate with other countries to procure Covid-19 vaccines.

"The ministry has used various channels, such as vaccine swaps, accepting donations and negotiating on vaccine research and development," said ministry spokesperson Tanee Sangrat.

He gave the example of Thailand's recent vaccine swap with Singapore, similar to the deal done earlier with Bhutan.

"Singapore was willing to deliver 120,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine in return for Thailand's donation of RT-PCR test kits at the beginning of Covid-19 crisis," he explained. "However, we decided to do the vaccine swap with Singapore as we believe that every country should help together [to overcome the crisis]."

He also denied accusations that a Moderna representative was unable to contact Thai diplomats with news of a delivery delay, saying the ministry and Royal Thai Embassy in Washington DC had received an e-mail from a pharmaceutical company responsible for Moderna vaccine supply and distribution in Thailand.

"In the e-mail, the representative asked to postpone the delivery of 10 million doses of Moderna vaccine scheduled in the third quarter of this year … as the company's factory in Switzerland had faced difficulties," he said.

"The representative did not reveal any documents related to Thailand's purchase order, such as the number of vaccines or delivery timeframe."

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He added that the Thai Embassy in Washington is contacting US representatives to accelerate the delivery of vaccines and increase the supply.

The Foreign Ministry had also cooperated with China, Japan, the UK, Bhutan, Germany and Switzerland to tackle the Covid-19 crisis, said Tanee.

"In addition, the ministry is currently in talks for vaccine procurement with India, and for public health support with South Korea and Australia," he added.

He asked people not to make baseless accusations against ministry officials worldwide, saying this would result in confusion among civil servants and the public.