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Hospitals face alleged favouritism in distribution of vaccines

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PHOTO: Several instances of favouritism in distributing Pfizer vaccines have spurred probes. (via Flickr)

A probe is being launched to investigate the director of Chaloem Phra Kiat Hospital who is accused of favouritism after his wife and an associate received Pfizer vaccines they were not qualified for. A committee was set up yesterday by the Nakhon Ratchasima Provincial Public Health Office to look into the improper vaccine allotment as the Pfizer vaccines have been reserved for frontline medical workers.

The hospital received 144 Pfizer vaccines from the provincial public health office, intended for 138 frontline workers. The other 6 vaccines were intended for pregnant women, health care workers, and those without a third AstraZeneca vaccine. 3 of the 138 vaccines were intended for a private clinic, but the favouritism allegations claim that 2 of them were rerouted to the wife of the hospital director and the husband of the hospital’s chief of a pharmaceutical and consumer health protection group.

The misappropriation of vaccines was leaked online and people raised complaints of favouritism, spurring the probe to begin. It is expected to be conducted over the course of a week. The government’s intention is to use the Pfizer vaccines only for frontline medical staff who are directly interacting with Covid-19 patients. Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri insists that those who divert vaccines for private or VIP recipients will be punished.

Investigations are planned for other possible abuses of favouritism in the distribution of vaccines. A doctor in Nakhon Si Thammarat will be probed despite her handing in her resignation after she was alleged to have given Pfizer vaccines to her ineligible family members.

In a scandalous probe, a 29 year old traditional Thai medicine doctor is claiming on Twitter that he has received a third vaccine and is now available to safely provide massage services. His post seems to be hinting that he provides sexual services as he discusses the size of his “weapon”, making the claim of getting preferential vaccination ill-advised after the attention it received.

Phichit Hospital is who the traditional medicine doctor says gave him the vaccine, but the hospital director denies any connection to the man, saying that 47 people have received third vaccines without any favouritism and he is not on the list. The man faces multiple legal problems over his post, with the hospital lodging a complaint with police about his vaccine allegations and the Thai traditional medicine group is asking police to investigate the traditional doctor’s suggestions of sexual services.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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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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