National Vaccine Institute apologizes for procuring insufficient Covid-19 vaccines during worsening outbreak, looking to join COVAX

National –

The National Vaccine Institute today, July 21st, has apologized to the public for not providing a sufficient number of Covid-19 vaccines in time despite its best efforts.

Dr. Nakorn Premsri, Director of the National Vaccine Institute, stated during a press conference at the Ministry of Public Health this afternoon that the institution had been continuously negotiating with the Covid-19 vaccine suppliers even those that were still under research since August last year. The country had eventually procured the first 61 million doses of AstraZeneca.

The dealing process took a significant amount of time as it had to involve other departments and legal authorities before making a decision and signing an agreement, according to his statement.

He stated: “I have to apologize to the people that the National Vaccine Institute, despite its best efforts, was not able to provide a sufficient number of vaccines for the situation. The Covid-19 outbreak is a situation we have never met before.”

“The new virus mutant (Delta) also caused the pandemic to be faster and more severe than it was in the previous year, causing the supply of vaccines to not be able to keep up with the demand during this situation. I have to apologize once again.”

The Director further said that Thailand is in the process of joining the COVAX Project but the contract has not yet been signed. The National Vaccine Institute has prepared to initiate negotiations by coordinating with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, before making a vaccine procurement negotiation with COVAX. COVAX would allow Thailand easier access to vaccines, according to Gavi.

“We believe that more vaccines from the negotiation would be allocated in Thailand by 2022, in addition to negotiations with vaccine manufacturers alone. If there is a clear conclusion, it will be presented through the working group and relevant committees. In the meantime, the National Vaccine Institute would do their best,” Dr. Nakorn concluded.

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