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PM hits back at criticism of vaccine rollout, threatens to hold critics responsible for delays

Maya Taylor

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The Thai PM has hit back at opposition politicians who have criticised the national vaccine rollout, warning them that any delays with delivery will be their fault. Responding to Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn, an MP from the Move Forward Party who questioned delivery timescales, Prayut Chan-o-cha warned critics not to politicise the matter.

“I am concerned that comments on the vaccines will cause problems. I don’t want it to be politicised. You have to be careful. If we cannot get what has been agreed upon because of this, you must accept responsibility.”

According to a Bangkok Post report, Wiroj says the delays in getting adequate vaccine doses into the country will have a significant impact on economic recovery.

“According to an estimate from the government, if the vaccine rollout is too slow by one month, the economic losses will amount to about 250 billion baht a month. Therefore, each day the government delays its rollout, the country will lose 8.3 billion baht, or 347 million baht per hour. The vaccination is not only about preventing the outbreak – its importance also lies in ensuring a faster economic recovery and easing the plight of Thais nationwide.”

The PM says the government is fully aware of the financial hardship being endured by people and is busy trying to solve those problems.

“I have to listen to doctors and make sure vaccines arrive as soon as possible. I don’t want any delay. However, I insist Thailand has done a better job of controlling Covid-19 than several other countries, and we’re still trying to do even better.”

He adds that once Thailand is producing its own Covid-19 vaccine, things will improve. Thailand’s vaccine is due to begin first stage human trials next month, with the use of 210 volunteers. The second phase will begin in April and will involve 250 volunteers, followed by phase 3 before the end of the year.

Wiroj’s criticism was not only reserved for the delay in vaccine delivery, he has also questioned the government’s procurement decisions, asking why vaccines weren’t purchased from the Chinese firm, Sinopharm, which used the same technology as the government’s chosen supplier, Sinovac. It’s understood the Sinopharm jab was approved for general use in December, demonstrating an efficacy of over 79% in phase 3 trials. Meanwhile, there is still no phase 3 trial data for the Sinovac jab.

The MP also slammed the decision not to join the vaccine procurement programme organised by the World Health Organistation. Wiroj says many richer countries, such as Canada, Norway, and Australia, have joined the Covax programme, along with many EU countries.

The government has responded to accusations that Thailand is the only South-East Asian nation to not join Covax, by pointing out that the Kingdom is not eligible for free or low-cost vaccine doses. As a “middle-income” country, Thailand would have to pay full price, without knowing which vaccines might be delivered or when. Spokesman Anucha Buraphachaisri says Thailand opted out of joining Covax in order to sign its own deals with chosen manufacturers as by law, the government can’t spend money on vaccines where there is no proof of efficacy.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Stardust

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 10:44 am

    This behaviour shows on which low level he is. This is interesting notice for the WHO and the vaccine producer whith who they are dealing with. But if he thinks his bad behaviour will work at them, the backfire will be clear. He shot now in his own foot and brought himself into the international spotlight. He is a small fish and wanna play big fish, this not gonna work. For all his bad actions they will make him responsible because they are not stupid neither they will have fear of this little fish. Talking daily nonsense doesnt work to deal with adults but there is a song …bad boys, bad boys what you gonna do when they come for you…

    • Avatar

      Bill

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 10:51 am

      do you smoke ice stardust?

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 1:04 pm

        Not sure what they have on his planet …

  2. Avatar

    Stardust

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 11:17 am

    @Bill acting like a 3 year kid is not a hit back it is like shooting in your own foot and burn yourself. As I see on your comment that you also don’t know adults will not give you any credibilty on that level. But it is interesting to watch how they shoot in their own foot and bring themselve into that international spotlight. I know you and also little kids think others are responsible for what they do or talk. Bill go play with the kids maybe they like to talk on your level. As I said before talking nonsense doesn’t work if you have to deal with adults

  3. Avatar

    Stardust

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 11:30 am

    @Bill/slugger/Issan john we will buy popcorn and watch it …and yes sure always others are responsible

  4. Avatar

    Grumpy John

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 11:37 am

    The bully boy comments of any Richard Tator don’t wash with me. I hope more and more Thai people wake up to this man and his corrupt circus clowns.

  5. Avatar

    sam

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 11:45 am

    Political deflection is an art-form, this bloke is no artist

  6. Avatar

    Stardust

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    I think it is time for the journalists in Thailand to explain tge difference between reservatiins/pre orders and orders. You cannot be on the top of the list if you not made long time ago reservations. But for that they made the covax program. All this informations were many month ago on the table for example in the eu. Also the informations about the licence for productions and the time frame for the roll outs. So thinking I just make a order and get it quick wile there are hundred of millions of reservations/pre orders there and same with the time frames for the licencening for a production til the roll out. All this was long time clear and the world was wondering about Thailands anouncements for the roll out/delivery for example the astra vaccine. Thats why also the eu insisted to disclosure the delivery contracts to clear confusions

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 2:51 pm

      Holding up the “eu” as an example for others when the President of the EU has just said, very publicly and clearly, that the EU got its vaccine procurement badly wrong puts your comments in perspective, Stardust.

      It’s becoming increasingly clear that despite having taken the right precautions against Covid, by any comparable metric, something seems to be going very badly wrong with the vaccine “roll out”.

      Exactly what’s going wrong and why isn’t too clear as yet, but I think it’ll have a lot more affect on the direction Thailand takes than some three-fingered salutes and student protests.

      • Avatar

        Stardust

        Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 3:30 pm

        Sure always others responsible. Oh a new tactic everything go wrong I blame others and they are responsible. And if sombody ask me something or critics because things going bad wrong I can blame and punish the critics. This is a small kindergarten level and it means for nothing caoable and absolut incompetent in all fields. Yes Clowns and small kids acting like that! Dealing with adults on that level will not work!

  7. Avatar

    luca

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 3:39 pm

    667 / 5000
    Risultati della traduzione
    In reality, Von Der Leyen said: “We were too optimistic and perhaps too confident that those we ordered would be delivered on time” remains the fact that Pfizer, Astra Zeneca vaccines are already being produced in Europe. From March it will produce Moderna vaccines in France, finally the EU has bought and paid for at least one billion doses of these vaccines, probably before Thailand gets the Chinese vaccine in Europe they will have the Jhonson vaccine and possibly Sputnik too. . Comparing the EU to what the little Thai dictator did is ridiculous, perhaps he believes that his mother China will help him because they are companions of the dictatorship

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 9:09 pm

      If that’s intended for me, I’m not the one making the comparison, which is pretty meaningless on any level – Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, for example, are not viable here.

      … and at least part of the problem, and a large part of the criticism, is that China has NOT been asked to help.

  8. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    As a “middle-income” country……have they ran that one past a big chunk of the population living below the poverty line……..

  9. Avatar

    Pedro

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 5:18 pm

    It seems that Prayut has not heard of or does not understand the term ‘vicarious liability’. Even in a normal democracy where decision making is delegated down a few levels, the person at the top of the tree assumes responsibility for what their government does or does not do. In a pseudo military dictatorship model, where only the boss man makes the choices for the country, by definition the buck must stop there. He was happy to accept the plaudits for containing the virus, even though it meant closing down the country and plunging many Thais below the poverty level and into a deep spiral of debt, whilst he still drew his salary and perks. So Prayut must accept the criticism if he gets the vaccine roll out wrong because it is his overall responsibility in the name of the Junta to get it right.

  10. Avatar

    Ian

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    He’s on his way out guys blaming everybody but himself a bit like someone we all know hi ij

  11. Avatar

    Yan

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    What else than corruption could withold a decent vaccination program?

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 9:13 pm

      Use your imagination, Yan – corruption is only one of many increasingly obvious possibilities 😮

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