16 million doses of unused COVID-19 vaccines to be sent to sub-district hospitals
Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has recently decided to distribute 16 million doses of Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines to Tambon (sub-district) health promotion hospitals across the country for storage, raising questions within the Rural Doctor Society over whether this may be a way of disposing of the excessive stocks, much of which is about to expire.
The Rural Doctor Society said that the CCSA did not take into consideration that many of these hospitals still have residual stocks of vaccines in their storage, because fewer people are getting vaccinated as the COVID-19 situation has steadily improved.
The society questioned where more vaccines sent to these hospitals will be stored, adding that they will finally have be discarded when they reach their use-by dates.
The society said that Tambon health promotion hospitals are easy targets for the CCSA and the Public Health Ministry to use to get rid of the oversupply of vaccines “because they do not have much of a voice compared to provincial or district hospitals, but they are not garbage dumps either.”
The Public Health Ministry has been campaigning for unvaccinated people to get inoculated and the partially vaccinated to get booster shots. Only 40% of the Thai people have received three doses of vaccine, with many believing that two doses are adequate. As of May 25th, there are about six million elderly people who are yet to receive their booster shots, according to the Disease Control Department.