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Foreign Ministry rejects Thammasat University’s request for help importing donated Moderna doses

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PHOTO: Flickr/Marco Verch

3 million doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine donated by Poland continue to be held up amid arguments between the recipient, Thammasat University, and the Thai government. Nation Thailand reports that the Foreign Affairs Ministry has refused to help import the doses as the transaction is not state-to-state. In a letter to the TU rector, the ministry says the university must discuss the matter with Thailand’s Public Health Ministry and the vaccine manufacturer.

The chairman of the Thonburi Healthcare Group, Boon Vanasin, had previously confirmed that Poland was donating 3 million Moderna doses to Thammasat Chaloem Phrakiat Hospital. The shipment was expected to arrive last Tuesday, but instead has been held up by disputes over paperwork and who is supposed to do what. The delay prompted the university to write to the Foreign Affairs Ministry to request assistance with the delivery, but the ministry says it’s not in a position to do so.

According to the Nation Thailand report, the ministry’s justification is that the deal was not done through official diplomatic channels, or communicated to them by Poland’s Foreign Affairs Ministry. The letter to TU states that the university must therefore deal directly with the Polish government agency donating the vaccines. It goes on to suggest that TU should contact the Public Health Ministry and should also seek approval for the transaction from the vaccine manufacturer.

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SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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