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Foreign Ministry denies it wouldn’t work with other countries to get vaccines



PHOTO: Flickr/Marco Verch

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson has denied claims that officials wouldn’t cooperate with other countries in the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines. According to a Nation Thailand report, Tanee Sangrat insists Thailand has worked with a number of countries in accepting donations, swapping vaccines, and other areas of cooperation.

“The ministry has used various channels, such as vaccine swaps, accepting donations, and negotiating on vaccine research and development.”

Tanee says that Thailand recently agreed to swap vaccines with Singapore, as happened previously with Bhutan. In exchange for obtaining vaccines from both countries, Thailand agreed to send vaccines their way at a later stage, once it had addressed its supply issues.

“Singapore was willing to deliver 120,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine in return for Thailand’s donation of PCR test kits at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. However, we decided to do the vaccine swap with Singapore as we believe that every country should help together.”

Nation Thailand reports that Tanee has also denied claims that the manufacturers of the Moderna vaccine were unable to contact Thai officials to confirm a delay in delivery. According to Tanee, the Foreign Ministry and the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington both received an email from the company.

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

Tanee says the embassy in Washington is now in talks with Moderna representatives to accelerate delivery of the vaccine and to increase the number of doses. He adds that Thailand has also cooperated with China, Japan, the UK, Bhutan, Germany, and Switzerland in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis.

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

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SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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