US blames Thailand for Pfizer delay

US blames Thailand for Pfizer delay

Vials of the Pfizer vaccine are prepared for inoculation at Vajira Hospital in Bangkok on Tuesday. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Vials of the Pfizer vaccine are prepared for inoculation at Vajira Hospital in Bangkok on Tuesday. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The government has denied delaying the process of receiving another 1 million doses of Pfizer vaccines against Covid-19 to be donated by the US.

The move comes after politician Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan visited Thai-born US senator Tammy Duckworth in Washington, DC on Wednesday.

Ms Duckworth helped to arrange the donation of 2.5 million doses for Thailand.

A total of 1,503,450 doses of Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech were delivered to Thailand on July 30.

The US embassy previously confirmed the United States will provide an additional one million doses.

During the conversation with Khunying Sudarat, Ms Duckworh was reported to have said: "All I can tell you is that I've been advocating for Thailand to get more vaccines ... and Thailand has a million doses waiting to go.

"But because Thailand has not finished the paperwork ... I know I told the ambassador a month ago that it needs to be completed. They said OK, they're going to work on it.''

The Thai government has not yet sent documents to inform the US of its intention to accept the vaccines, so the US still could not deliver them, Khunying Sudarat quoted her as saying.

In response, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the Foreign Affairs Ministry had not received any documents from the US.

Department of Disease Control director-general Opas Karnkawinpong echoed this response.

"Since the first donation, the US still has not yet notified the ministries that it will donate any additional vaccine doses," Dr Opas said.

"Therefore, the report that Thailand has denied or failed to respond to the donation is not true."

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  • additional: more; more than was first mentioned or is usual - ที่เพิ่มขึ้น
  • advocate (verb): to publicly support - สนับสนุน
  • ambassador: a senior official who lives in a foreign country and represents his or her own country there - ทูต
  • blame: responsibility for doing something badly or wrongly; saying that somebody is responsible for something - การรับผิดชอบต่อสิ่งไม่ดีที่เกิดขึ้น
  • denied (verb): said that something is not true or did not happen - ปฏิเสธ
  • document: a paper or set of papers with written or printed information, especially of an official type  - เอกสาร
  • donation: money or goods that you give to an organisation, especially one that helps people - เงินหรือสิ่งของบริจาค
  • echo: to express the ideas or feelings that someone else has expressed - กล่าวซ้ำ
  • embassy: a building where a group of officials work who represent their government in a foreign country - สถานทูต
  • intention: a plan in your mind to do something - ความตั้งใจ เจตนา แผนการ
  • manufacture: to make and produce a product - ผลิต
  • report (verb): to tell someone officially that something exists or happened - รายงาน
  • senator: a member of the Senate - วุฒิสมาชิก
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