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Contrary to Anutin, US says delivery of vaccines awaits Thailand

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: US Senator Tammy Duckworth says Thailand didn't respond to the 1 million Pfizer vaccines the US tried to donate. (via TammyDuckworth.com)

In a meeting with Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, founder of the new Thai Sang Thai Party, US Senator Tammy Duckworth stated that she is pushing for more vaccine donations from the US to Thailand, but that Thailand has yet to collect 1 million Pfizer vaccines waiting for them now.

The conversation took place in Washington DC on Wednesday. Duckworth was born in Thailand and has frequently advocated for her home country, including being instrumental in the donation of 2.5 million Pfizer vaccines agreed upon earlier this year.

At the end of July Thailand received 1.5 million Pfizer vaccines from the US with a second delivery of 1 million pending. Duckworth said she planned on advocating for more vaccines to be donated but her hands are tied as Thai officials have not responded to confirm the pending donation.

“All I can tell you is that I’ve been advocating for Thailand to get more vaccines … and Thailand has a million doses waiting to go. But because Thailand has not finished the paperwork … I know I told the ambassador a month ago that it needs to be completed. They said OK, they’re going to work on it.”

The US government has apparently been sitting on the 1 million vaccines awaiting Thailand’s response. Thailand needs to send official documents declaring their intention to accept the vaccine donation from the US, and until those papers are received the Pfizer vaccines from the United States cannot be delivered.

Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul has disputed these claims, saying that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs handles the paperwork protocol and responds to notifications from the US Embassy in Bangkok. Anutin claims that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not received any documentation from the United States.

They say that it is in fact Thailand that is waiting on the United States to submit paperwork and not, as Senator Duckworth claims, the United States waiting on Thailand to respond with confirmation documents.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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