Amber light for private, local organisations to procure vaccines

Amber light for private, local organisations to procure vaccines

A medical worker prepares Covid-19 vaccine shots for members of the Social Security Fund at Show DC shopping centre on Rama IX Road in Bangkok on Wednesday. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
A medical worker prepares Covid-19 vaccine shots for members of the Social Security Fund at Show DC shopping centre on Rama IX Road in Bangkok on Wednesday. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

The government is to allow private organisations and local administrative organisations to procure Covid-19 vaccines -- but only through government channels.

Gen Natthapon Nakpanich, secretary-general of the National Security Council and operations director of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said on Wednesday that private organisations and local administrative organisations could buy Covid-19 vaccines from the Department of Disease Control, the National Vaccine Institute, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization, the Thai Red Cross Society, the Chulabhorn Royal Academy and other government agencies to be announced later.

The procurement could not be done directly because vaccine supplies were still limited and each producer would only make one supply contract in each country, Gen Natthapon said.

He commented that in practice not all local administrative organisations could buy Covid-19 vaccines due to their budgetary constraints.

Local administrative organisations could only facilitate vaccinations by the CCSA and the Public Health Ministry in their areas, Gen Natthapon said.

Vaccine procurement would also need approval from each provincial communicable disease committee, chaired by provincial governors, and then from the CCSA, he said.

The government still had no idea when the private sector and local administrative organisations could start to buy Covid-19 vaccines. Gen Natthapon said the deliveries of more vaccine doses had not been scheduled yet.

Moderna and Sinopharm only proposed to sell 3-5 million doses initially but had not set a delivery date, he said.

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