Private hospitals given green light to acquire vaccines on their own

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha instructed government agencies to facilitate the private sector’s efforts to procure coronavirus vaccines, the government said on Friday.  

Government red tape had previously hindered efforts by private hospitals to acquire vaccines with the the public health ministry dragging its feet on approving private acquisition.

“The PM is concerned about the news that the government’s vaccine procuring plan is providing benefit to one person or a large company so there was a discussion at the CCSA’s meeting today,” said Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, a spokesman for the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

“The PM, as head of the CCSA, had agreed with all the proposals that the private sector have proposed today, which is mainly the policy for the private sector to help procure more vaccines and they have asked for the government to facilitate them,” he added.

Taweesin said there is more demand for coronavirus vaccines.

The country had received one million doses of Sinovac’s vaccine and 117,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine so far.

Thailand has the capacity to inject 10,000 – 14,000 people per province per day and so far, more than 470,000 people have received their first dose between February 28 and April 9, the Ministry of Public Health said.

Taweesin said that more orders for vaccines are on the way. Coupled with the rollout of the locally produced AstraZeneca’s vaccine in June, the government would have procured 70 million doses by the end of the year, which would be enough for 35 million people.

The National Vaccine Institute (NVI) has estimated that at least 40 million people have to be vaccinated before a herd immunity can be reached.

Taweesin said the premier had instructed Dr Piyasakon Sakonsattayathorn, former health minister and an adviser to the CSSA, to head a joint public and private committee which include the NVI, the GPO, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Private Hospital Association, and other related private associations to come up with solutions to help fulfill the missing ten million doses.

The committee was given one month to report back to the CCSA with an agreeable and workable policy for the alternative procurement plan of the vaccines.

Right now, the FDA has approved the use of Sinovac’s, AstraZeneca’s and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines in Thailand.

The administration is now looking to approve other vaccines as well and “it will happen”, Taweesin said. However, he did not specify which vaccine will be approved next.

Listen to this story


Current Covid cases in steady decline

More people recovered from Covid-19 than there were new cases each day for the past week, the Centre for...

Latest article

Current Covid cases in steady decline

More people recovered from Covid-19 than there were new cases each day for the past week, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said...

BEC World shares surge following return of morning news star Sorayuth Suthassanachinda

Shares of BEC World (BEC), Thailand’s second-largest terrestrial TV operator, rose over 9 per cent on Tuesday after the return of its famous morning...

Pressure group issues 17-point takedown of Prayut’s track record

The pressure group Samakkhi Prachachon visited Government House on Tuesday to hand in a 17-point open letter on the alleged wrongdoings of Prime Minister...

Government defends top-up in latest Covid relief scheme

A 200-baht monthly top-up in the latest relief scheme for the country’s 13.7 million state-welfare card holders is “appropriate”, the Ministry of Finance said...

BMA to allow elderly to register for vaccines at hospitals

Bangkok will allow elderly people to register for Covid vaccines at more than 100 hospitals around the capital, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) said...

Photo Essay: Parks re-open in Bangkok

After much back and forth between the BMA and the government, parks has finally re-opened in Bangkok. Our James Wilson with the brief photo...
Listen to this story