Hospital director probed for allegedly giving his wife Pfizer vaccine

REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The director of Chaloem Phra Kiat Hospital, in Thailand’s northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima, Dr. Champ Suttisrisin, is under investigation for allegedly administering a Pfizer mRNA vaccine jab to his wife and an outsider.

The names of Dr. Champ’s wife, and that of the husband of Panisara Pattayawit, the chief pharmacist at the hospital, appear among a list of 138 individuals, including 135 medical staff of the hospital, who were given Pfizer vaccine jabs.

Dr. Champ and administrators of the hospital, including Panisra, yesterday explained that all 138 individuals on the hospital’s list, which includes his wife who works at a private clinic and Mrs. Panisra’s husband, who is a pharmacist at a private pharmacy, were qualified to receive the Pfizer vaccine shots.

The Chaloem Phra Kiat Hospital was allocated just 144 doses of the 1.5 million doses of Pfizer vaccine donated by the United States. After the 139 doses administered to 135 medics at the hospital, two doses for Dr. Champ’s wife and the husband of Panisra, there were six doses left, which were given to two pregnant women, three medics, who had not been vaccinated, and another non-medical staff member who is waiting for a third booster AstraZeneca jab.

Both Dr. Champ and Panisra claimed that they had not abused their authority by giving the vaccine to their loved ones, who are also regarded as medical personnel.

Dr. Narinrat Pitchayakamin, the provincial health chief, insisted, however, that only frontline medics would be given priority to be vaccinated, saying that people working in private clinics will receive the vaccine only when there is sufficient supply.

He said the hospital director must explain why it was necessary for his wife and the pharmacist’s husband to be vaccinated ahead of the other people or face disciplinary action.

Meanwhile, in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat, a doctor at Noppitam District Hospital, has tendered her resignation after admitting that she inoculated her elder sister with the US-donated Pfizer vaccine.

The provincial health chief, Dr. Charaspong Sukkree, said yesterday (Monday) that a disciplinary investigation will proceed, even though the doctor in question has resigned.

He said that the vaccine used to inoculate the doctor’ sister was the leftover in a vial, which is usually sufficient for six doses, adding that the leftover vaccine was drawn from the vial using a “low dead space” syringe.

Dr. Charaspong offered an apology to the people of Nakhon Si Thammarat for the incident, as he stressed that the donated Pfizer vaccine is intended for frontline medics only.


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