Private hospitals can buy Covid vaccine of their choosing

Private hospitals can buy Covid vaccine of their choosing

Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, gives his daily briefing from Government House in Bangkok on Friday. (Screenshot)
Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, gives his daily briefing from Government House in Bangkok on Friday. (Screenshot)

Private hospitals can buy 10 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, in addition to the government's purchases, to help create herd immunity, a senior spokesman said on Friday.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, as head of the CCSA, had approved the move.

Private hospitals could acquire a total of 10 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, enough to inoculate 5 million people.

The decision was made at a meeting with senior officials of the Public Health Ministry and  representatives of private hospitals and the Thai Private Hospitals Association (TPHA) at Government House on Friday.

The meeting acknowledged that the government was buying 70 million doses of Covid vaccine, enough for 35 million people. However, herd immunity required at least 40 million people be vaccinated.

The TPHA representatives confirmed they were able to buy the 10 million doses needed for the other 5 milion people. The prime minister agreed to let private hospitals meet the demand, Dr Taweesilp said.

Representatives of private hospitals told the meeting that vaccine producers needed letters of intent from the Thai government to allow them to supply vaccine to private hospitals, and the Government Pharmaceutical Organization should procure the vaccine on their behalf.

The prime minister approved the requests, the spokesman said.

The prime minister assigned Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, adviser to CCSA, to head a committee for the private purchase of vaccines.

The private procurement would target vaccines from producers other than the manufacturers the government had already registered, for the sake of diversification and risk distribution, Dr Taweesilp said.

The prime minister also agreed with private hospitals' requests for larger allocations of existing vaccines from the Public Health Ministry, because vaccine demand was building and their present stocks were insufficient.

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