11 July 2024

Officials of the Thai embassy in Washington DC will meet with their American counterparts this week to facilitate the delivery of an additional million doses of Pfizer mRNA vaccine, being donated to Thailand by the United States, according to Thai Ambassador to the US, H.E. Mr. Manasvee Srisodaphol.

The ambassador said he called Thai-born Democrat US Senator Tammy Duckworth to enquire about the vaccine, but was told that its documentation had already been sent to the Thai side and was asked to find out why the Thai authorities were unaware of it.

The ambassador said he had checked with all Thai officials and they responded that they had not received any formal notification from the US about the donated vaccine.

He said, however, that he received good news from the US on Saturday, about a meeting with US officials this week to discuss the issue.

On the same day, in Bangkok, the US embassy released a Thai translation of an English message, tweeted by US chargé d’affaires Michael Heath, saying “As previously announced in July, the US will donate an additional one million doses of safe and effective vaccines to Thailand. The US and Thailand are working closely to complete all necessary documentation. We look forward to welcoming the second shipment of vaccines to Thailand as quickly as possible. When we cooperate, we save lives.”

This second lot of donated Pfizer vaccine became controversial when Senator Duckworth told Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, leader of Thai Sang Thai party, during her visit with the US senator last week, that it will be difficult for the US to send more vaccines to Thailand until the Thai government resolves the delay over the one million doses which are yet to be delivered.

The issue led to criticism of the Thai government by opposition parties for allegedly declining to accept the donated vaccine.