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Government under increasing pressure to share details of vaccine procurement deals



PHOTO: Facebook/องค์การเภสัชกรรม

As Thailand battles its worst Covid-19 wave since the start of the pandemic, the government is coming under increasing pressure to divulge details of its vaccine procurement decisions. The Bangkok Post reports that at least 333 academics, media representatives, and individuals have signed a statement calling for full disclosure of everything related to the country’s vaccine procurement deals.

The statement goes on to say that the Covid-19 crisis in Thailand could be more effectively managed with such information made freely available. With so many lives lost and the economy decimated, as well as pressure mounting on the country’s healthcare system, the group says the public has lost trust in the government.

According to the Bangkok Post report, the group says the only way to beat the pandemic is through a well-managed and fair vaccine procurement and distribution process. And the statement goes on to add that the only way to restore public confidence and dispel fake news and rumours is to make the requested information available.

Doing so, according to the group, will show that the government’s intentions are good and that officials are doing their best to obtain and distribute vaccines. The statement goes on to say that such reassurance would lead to greater cooperation from the public.

The group is using the Official Information Act of 1997 to pressure the government into disclosing the details of vaccine procurement contracts and government policy on the procurement and distribution of vaccines. Members are calling for the release of information pertaining to deals with manufacturers, the number of doses ordered, the duration of signed contracts, timelines for vaccine delivery, and penalties for late delivery, among other details. They are also calling on the government to reveal its strategy for handling vaccine shortages.

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SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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