Thailand’s COVID-19 vaccine procurements to be expedited with more agencies involved
Thailand’s COVID-19 vaccine procurements are expected to be expedited as more agencies will be involved in the joint effort, according to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)’s new announcement streamlining the management of COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
The announcement, which was published in the Royal Gazette on Tuesday, is to ensure access to the vaccines by at least 70% of the country’s population, or 50 million people, and aimed at solving the host of problems which have beset the management of vaccines, which has come under heavy criticism from opposition parties, critics and the public.
The problems range from the monopolistic nature of vaccine procurement by the government, while the private sector is barred from importing vaccines, the limitation of current vaccines used of only AstraZeneca and Sinovac, the slow approval of new vaccines, to delayed deliveries of vaccines and reprioritization of vaccine distribution, resulting in postponements of inoculation appointments in several provinces.
Under the new guidelines, detailed in the announcement, procurement of vaccines is now the joint responsibility of the Disease Control Department, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization, the National Vaccine Institute, the Thai Red Cross Society, the Chulabhorn Royal Academy and state agencies responsible for providing medical and health services to the public.
They will work together to procure and import quality and effective vaccines, which meet the standard requirements, as a matter of urgency.
To improve public access to vaccines, private hospitals and the private sector may procure vaccines through the state agencies mentioned, but they must be approved for use by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) and the prices charged to the public must be appropriate.
If local administrations, such as Tambon (sub-district) Administration Organizations (TAO) or Provincial Administration Organizations (PAO), want vaccines for their people in their localities, they can procure them from the same state agencies, in accordance with the regulations and vaccine management guidelines.
Under the same guidelines, all public and private agencies are also urged to update information on the Mor Prom app.