National Vaccine Institute head says Thailand never turned down an offer from Pfizer

Stock photo by Mufid Majnun for Unsplash

After reports claiming that the Thai government turned down an offer from Pfizer for 13 million vaccine doses, the director of the National Vaccine Institute is debunking the claims saying the reports are false and the country is still looking into acquiring doses from the company.

Thailand’s Public Health Ministry is negotiating with several Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers to acquire more doses. The country plans to acquire a total of 100 million doses of the vaccine from various companies within this year, according to the director of the institute, Nakorn Premsri. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says the government has set a goal to administer 300,000 doses of the vaccine per day, aiming to fully vaccinate more than half of the population by the end of the year.

Nakorn says some reports have falsely said the Thai government rejected an offer from Pfizer for 13 million vaccine doses on a buy now, pay later deal. Pfizer had submitted a proposal to the company’s headquarters but had not yet approached Thailand with an offer and there is no buy, pay later deal, he says.

Pfizer regularly presents information from continuous research on the vaccine to Thailand’s Department of Disease Control and the National Vaccine Institute. Nakorn says the Thai government has never turned down a meeting with Pfizer’s representatives. The vaccine has been declared safe for children over 12 years old. At the moment, Thailand is only administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to those 18 and older, and the Sinovac vaccine to adults between the ages of 18 to 60 years old.

Health officials from the ministry are now following up with the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca after samples from 2 batches of its Covid-19 vaccine, which were locally produced by Siam Bioscience, recently passed quality tests. Reports say the local production is on track to be ready for public use by June.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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