Minister denies foot-dragging on additional US vaccine donation

DEPUTY Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul today (Sept. 23) denied Thailand has not signed and sent back documents to US for an additional donation of 1 million doses of Pfizer vaccine pointing out that the US embassy has not forwarded these papers, said.

Earlier today Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, chairman of the Thai Sang Thai Party, posted a message on Facebook that US Senator Tammy Duckworth, Democrat from Illinois, had told her that US is ready to hand over the remaining 1 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine it is donating to Thailand but the Thai government has not yet sent back acceptance documents.

This is why this lot of vaccines cannot be delivered to the Thai people, she added.

However Anutin said there is an international protocol on bilateral relations and it is the Foreign Ministry which is responsible for handling this issue.

Before the initial 1.5 million doses of Pfizer vaccine US donated arrived to Thailand at the end of July the US embassy sent documents to the Foreign Ministry stating its intention to donate this large lot of vaccine to help Thailand control the coronavirus pandemic.

The Public Health Ministry then worked out a plan to use the donated vaccine for the targeted groups and it was distributed nationwide.

Regarding news that US wants to donate an additional 1 million doses of Pfizer vaccine, the Foreign Ministry said it has not yet received diplomatic documents from US on this issue, Anutin added.

Meanwhile the Public Health Ministry said there were 13,256 coronavirus cases and 131 deaths in the 24 hours to this morning with this taking the cumulative confirmed total since April to 1,495,750 and from the onset of the pandemic 1,524,613.

An additional 13,829 patients were cured taking total recoveries since April to 1,352,936  with 128,367 still undergoing treatment.

Today’s 131 fatalities raised the death toll to 15,884.


Top: The arrival of the 1.5 million doses of Pfizer vaccine US donated to Thailand at the end of July. Photo: Amarin TV

Home Page: A doctor preparing a Pfizer vaccine jab. Photo: Marco Verch, professional photographer (CC BY 2.0)

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