Pfizer shots may be available in July
Thailand is waiting for price quotes from US-based Pfizer Inc before the country can buy 5-10 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
The doses will be shipped from July to December this year, according to the prime minister.
“I can’t confirm [whether Thailand will get it or not] but if all goes well, 5-10 million doses can be delivered as soon as July. The government is not dragging its feet,” Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said.
He added he had responded to calls, especially from social media users, to buy vaccines from manufacturers other than the two it had already bought — AstraZeneca and CoronaVac by Sinovac Biotech.
The premier explained he had set up a panel to consider “alternative vaccines”.
“Initially, the purchases Thailand made were based on the situation at that time, when we were very successful in containing the outbreak,” he said, perhaps implying that the government did not realise the importance of vaccinations.
Now that such vaccines have been successfully used elsewhere, the government allowed the private sector to make proposals and help them buy the shots.
“Let me be clear. It’s not that we acted too late or too little. Everything depends on the situation at a given time. We don’t want to subject people to risk when the vaccine was first produced. Several countries did the same,” Gen Prayut said.
“The idea of monopolising local vaccination has never crossed our mind."
Learn from listening
- act: to do something for a particular purpose or in order to deal with a situation - ปฏิบัติ
- alternative: another choice - ทางเลือก, ตัวเลือก
- confirm (verb): to state or show that something is definitely true or correct, especially by providing evidence - ยืนยัน
- cross your mind (idiom): to come into your mind; to think of; to get an idea - นึกถึง, คำนึงถึง
- dose: an amount of drug that has been measured so that you can take it - ปริมาณยาที่ให้ต่อครั้ง
- drag your feet (idiom): to do something very slowly because you do not really want to do it or you want to delay it - หน่วงเหนี่ยว,ทำให้ชักช้า
- imply: to suggest that you think something without saying it directly - บอกเป็นนัย, แสดงนัย
- manufacturer: a person or company that manufactures a product - ผู้ผลิต
- monopolise: to prevent other people from using something or being involved in something; to completely control a business activity - ผูกขาด
- private sector: businesses and industries that are not owned or controlled by the government - ภาคเอกชน
- vaccine: a substance which contains a form that is not harmful of a virus and which is given to a person or animal to prevent them from getting the disease which the virus causes - วัคซีน