A leaked document from AstraZeneca to the Thai government reveals that the Thai Ministry of Public Health only requested 3 million doses per month in an agreement with the vaccine manufacturer last September.
In the document, first published by Isra News, the company noted that it has since doubled the amount of vaccines Thailand was due to receive.
“I hope you will be pleased that this is nearly twice the volume we discussed during our meeting on 7 September 20202, when your team estimated that Thailand’s healthcare system required approximately three million doses per month,” the document states.
AstraZeneca, in September, also urged the Thai government to join the COVAX program to get more vaccines to its citizens, something that the government has not done.
The document was dated to June 25 of this year and signed by Sjoerd Hubben, the Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs and addressed to public health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.
The COVAX initiative is a United Nations program to send vaccines to developing nations which has seen neighboring countries receive Pfizer and AstraZeneca Vaccines.
Thailand is currently in the midst of the third wave of the pandemic and saw a record high of 10,082 new cases in the past 24 hours. A new death toll record was also set with 141 fatalities in the same time period.
The country has struggled to inoculate the population to mitigate the impact of the third wave with vaccine shortages continuing to trouble the country.
Questions will be asked by the opposition and the people over the next days over why the Ministry of Public Health so severely underestimated the country’s needs in September.
Calls to the Ministry of Public Health and AstraZeneca was not returned.