Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul today, February 9th, responded sharply to the case in which many local government authorities in many provinces are planning to purchase their own Covid-19 vaccinations for local distributions.
The Minister strongly answered reporters during the interview that no private and public local authorities are allowed to buy Covid-19 vaccinations at this time since the first lot of Covid-19 vaccines must be under Thai government procurement only.
Anutin stated: “Private or local governments can’t buy [the vaccine]. Don’t ask me any more of this question because no one can buy it. The company doesn’t sell it at this time and we aren’t giving our supplies to local governments at this time.”
“Today, the AstraZeneca vaccines are registered for under emergency situations and therefore must be sold to the government only. The government is the only institution who can issue the registration certificate for emergency use. Similar conditions also go for all vaccination companies prior to its distribution in Thailand.”
This latest statement, The Pattaya News noted, has disproved his previous interview in January, when the minister was asked if the local authorities are ready to buy vaccines for the people of their own provinces.
He said that if any local authorities have a budget and want to look after their people, the vaccine can be provided but must be a registered one and must be approved by the Ministry of Public Health.
“It is considered a good measure if the local government has good intentions. It will also help ease the burden of the government,” he added.
However, the Minister claimed that the earlier statement was given as a general reference. The measure had not been detailed and the possibility had not been carefully considered at the time.
His statements today don’t mean the proposal may not be allowed in the future but won’t be anytime soon, disappointing news for Pattaya and Phuket who were hoping to kickstart their tourism industry by privately vaccinating their residents and hospitality workers.
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