11 July 2024

Thai Supreme Commander General Chalermphol Srisawat has confirmed a news report that an army medic in South Sudan had given injections of harmless plain water, claiming it to be COVID-19 vaccine, to 273 Thai troops on a peace-keeping mission under UN command last year.

The army medic, who is a lieutenant, also charged each of the Thai soldiers 20 US dollars for the fake vaccinations.

This incident was first reported by the Thailand-based Isra News Agency, quoting a report by Transparency International in England, titled “The Unspoken COVID-19 Vaccine Challenges – Distribution and Corruption”.

General Chalermphol told the media today that the commander of the Thai troops in South Sudan had received complaints from his troops about the vaccinations, as they became suspicious because the vaccine bottles did not have any label.

A probe was conducted, at the order of the commander there, and it was found that the supposed COVID-19 vaccine was, in fact, plain water.

The UN’s medical service also heard about the fake vaccine and informed the Thai army of the incident, to ensure no repeat of such malpractice, said General Chalermphol, adding that the medic in question has already returned to Thailand, but has refused to report to his superior.

The officer was fired from military service and stripped of his medical licence, said the supreme commander.