Government said local provinces must get approval before ordering vaccines

The government said on Monday that provincial governments must gain approval from the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) before they buy coronavirus vaccines, the government said on Monday.

The measures are there “…to avoid confusion” said General Anupong Paochinda, the Interior Minister.

He said problem may rise if some Provincial Administrative Organizations (PAOs) made an order that they cannot pay for it or if they order too much.

The minister said it would be up to the CCSA to decide when provinces or private companies can start buying vaccines for themselves without first going through the CCSA.

Conflicting accounts

Anupong’s comments came after Pathum Thani governor Chaiwat Chuenkosum said that his province is ordering 500,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines from Chulabhorn Royal Academy (CRA).

The academy was given powers to act unilaterally to secure vaccines and they said last week that they would bring in Sinopharm doses.

The CRA said it will help source vaccines until other supplies become sufficient.

Dr Santi Srisermphok, the CRA’s Assistant Secretary, said on Monday that the academy has worked with Pathum Thani’s PAO before and they believed the province has the capability to organize a vaccination program.

“We have already talked with the governor of Pathum Thani because the province is ready and they have experience,” he said.

They said the collaboration between the CRA and the province could become model for other provinces to replicate.

Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang and Samut Prakan have all expressed interest to buy from CRA.

Nakhon Ratchasima has already requested to buy 100,000 Sinopharm doses and are urging the interior ministry to allow them to use their budget to do so.

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