6 June 2024

A group of 604 medical personnel, at Ramathibodi Chakri Naruebodindra Hospital of Mahidol University, have signed a joint statement demanding that the Thai government procure mRNA or Protein Subunit vaccines for frontline medics, claiming that the existing vaccines are ineffective against the mutated virus, especially the Delta variant.

In a statement, issued yesterday (Tuesday), the medics said that, although most frontline medical personnel are fully inoculated, several of them became infected because the Chinese inactivated vaccine (Sinovac) they were given does not effectively protect against the Delta variant, causing a reduction in available human resources and an increasing the burden on the remaining medics, who are being overstretched to the point that it will impact patients.

The group accused the government of gross mismanagement of the vaccine policy and of miscommunication with the public in the provision of information, procurement and distribution of vaccines, causing public confusion and suspicion over the transparency of the government and authorities concerned.

The group said that the procurement of vaccines has been slow and not according to contractual obligations, depriving Thailand of sufficient effective vaccines for the people.

They also demanded that the government and authorities concerned be transparent and reveal all the details of the procurement contracts and the distribution of vaccines, to build public confidence that everything is being done honestly and without influence by or benefit for vested interests.

Thailand’s Public Health Ministry signed a contract with Pfizer and BioNTech yesterday in procuring 20 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, an mRNA vaccine, expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of this year.

The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO), on behalf of private hospitals, are expected to place an order of 5 million doses of Moderna, the other mRNA vaccine, next month for deliveries in late 2021 and early 2022.

Thailand currently administers China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm and the UK’s Oxford-AstraZeneca.