Minister Don meets US officials over vaccine donation to Thailand

PHOTO: Thailand Minister Don meets with US Senator Duckworth. (via Foreign Ministry)

In Washington DC, Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai met with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and US Senator Tammy Duckworth to discuss the 1 million Pfizer vaccines the US donated that Thailand has yet to collect. Last week both sides argued that they were waiting on the other’s bureaucratic red tape to complete the donation, with Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul saying they hadn’t received paperwork through proper channels and Duckworth saying she told Thai officials to file paperwork a month ago.

The US donated 2.5 million Pfizer vaccines, with 1.5 having been delivered 2 months ago and the remaining 1 million seemingly stalled in administrative paperwork. The Thai government and the US Embassy in Thailand denied claims of the hold-up on the Thai side.

Don thanked Senator Duckworth, who was herself born in Thailand and has been a continuous strong advocate for her home country in US politics, for her continued push to get the Pfizer vaccines for Thailand. The Thai Minister also thanked Secretary of State Blinken for all of the help and support the US has provided throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

The officials agreed to meet next week to resolve the holdups and get the process back on track.

During the meeting, the officials discussed a few other matters of relevance to both Thailand and the US. They spoke of a possible economic revival partnership as the world recovers from Covid-19, as well the 26th UN Climate Change Conference coming up in Glasgow in November.

Other matters discussed included international programs like the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill Fronde

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.