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Thai businesses protest move to stop private vaccine imports


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Thai businesses protest move to stop private vaccine imports

By Chayut Setboonsarng

 

2021-02-10T123120Z_1_LYNXMPEH190ZZ_RTROPTP_4_THAILAND-ECONOMY.JPG

FILE PHOTO: People wearing face masks as a measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are seen at a train station in Bangkok, Thailand, January 7, 2021. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo

 

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai tourism operators and hospitals said on Wednesday they planned to lodge a protest against a government move to curb private imports of COVID-19 vaccines, marking an apparent turnaround in policy by authorities.

 

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha had previously said the private sector could import vaccines as long as they were approved by and registered with the Thai Food and Drug Administration.

 

But this week, businesses were notified that only the government could import and administer the vaccine in the "first phase" of inoculations, citing the need to closely follow up with patients on side-effects.

 

"We are lodging a protest against this through the private hospital and tourism associations," Boon Vanasin, the chairman of private hospital operator, Thonburi Healthcare Group Pcl, told Reuters, urging the government not to monopolize vaccinations.

 

His group has already made orders with Russia, China and India.

 

Thailand so far has not received or manufactured any vaccines, even as many of its neighbours have started inoculations.

It is expecting 50,000 imported doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and 2 million of Chinese Sinovac to begin arriving within a month, earmarked for frontline workers.

 

Mass inoculations for the population of about 66 million are not due to begin until June when locally produced AstraZeneca doses are ready.

 

Another vaccine being developed by state drugmaker Government Pharmaceutical Organization will begin human trials in March.

 

Businesses on the resort island of Phuket had said they would privately procure vaccines with a goal to resume receiving foreign tourists in October.

 

Phuket industry groups said they received a notification dated Feb. 8 that the government's ombudsman recommended restricting private sector participation in the first phase and had written to the prime minister seeking clarification.

 

Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri told Reuters there was no policy to block private procurement but authorities had to consider the ombudsman’s recommendation.

 

Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul denied the government is creating a vaccine monopoly in a news briefing on Wednesday.

 

(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Ed Davies)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2021-02-11
 
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It is interesting that the Astra Zeneca vaccine has been withdrawn from use in Sth Africa 

and they are trying to flog their current stock and those on order.

 

At the same time the health authorities in the UK are trying their best to contain the 

SA variant by way of mass home testing.

 

This may well mean that the AZ vaccine, which the UK government is pinning its hopes on 

isn't proving effective against that particular strain...

 

For disclosure, I am not an expert virologist and last studied biology 45 years ago, so am happy 

enough to admit that I am in no way any kind of authority on this matter!!

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30 minutes ago, webfact said:

Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul denied the government is creating a vaccine monopoly in a news briefing on Wednesday.

 

If Anutin denies it, you can more or less be sure that the government IS creating a vaccine monopoly !

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As Thailand known in its other name, fake-land, i see why authorities are reculant to allow private businesses to import the vaccine beside the fact that no other country has allowed it either...

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1 hour ago, shy coconut said:

This may well mean that the AZ vaccine, which the UK government is pinning its hopes on 

isn't proving effective against that particular strain...

My understand it may not prevent mild or moderate symptoms on the SA strain, BUT, should prevent severe symptoms and deaths. In all fairness I'm happy with that !

 

Had my first AZ anyway. Not too bad effects, little headache, though right arm feels like the doctor threw a javelin in it after a run up !

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha had previously said the private sector could import vaccines as long as they were approved by and registered with the Thai Food and Drug Administration.

 

But this week, businesses were notified that only the government could import and administer the vaccine

 

It would not be Thailand is everything was not chaotic and broken. I suppose it's what so many of us like about the place. Never a dull day. 

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

Businesses on the resort island of Phuket had said they would privately procure vaccines with a goal to resume receiving foreign tourists in October.

 

Hotels and Agoggo bars turn into vaccin production labs? The desperation seems to reach new levels every day. 

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The plan to ensure the Thai Vaccine is the Number One, for all.  The Center of the Universe is where the world must come, well in their minds at least.

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4 hours ago, ezzra said:

beside the fact that no other country has allowed it either...


Philippines is allowing private importation of vaccine on condition that a portion is donated back to government. Seems smart to me.

 

Meantime, the change of policy on private supply in Thailand means we foreigners will have no access to the vaccine for the foreseeable future.

 

But vaccine policy is - er - evolving, so may well change again...

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Bumrungrad Hospital sent round a link to a survey to guage interest in a vaccine. 

 

I think the upper classes will force the "government" to allow private hospitals to import (maybe consolidate into one or two initial bulk orders) and administer a vaccine.

 

Just a guess of course.

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A Thai vaccine can mean medical tourism for them with people traveling here just to get the newest and most advanced technologically advanced vaccine that will kill all strains.  I am waiting for this announcement from TAT for a new Vaccine Visa to be advertised.

 

This post contains traces of sarcasm and the inability for the poster to take this Government to serious with any of their announcements.

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It's not 66mln, but only 26+35=61 astrazeneca and 2mln sinovac. 
thailand is one of the very few countries in the world which didn't start vax program. Many countries did minimum 5% of population. 
 

in that case allowing private hospitals is reasonable, even if not common around the world. 
 

no, thourist organisations, as well as local authorities, should not be allowed to import by themselves. But they might contribute financially to speed off vax program

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4 hours ago, ezzra said:

As Thailand known in its other name, fake-land, i see why authorities are reculant to allow private businesses to import the vaccine beside the fact that no other country has allowed it either...

Thailand is known Globally as the land where literally anything and everything is copied.

Why not copy a Covid Vaccine. I think maybe there are already some enterprising outfits out there that have a recipe already to go as soon as Vaccines hit Thai soil.

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5 hours ago, Thaiwrath said:

 

If Anutin denies it, you can more or less be sure that the government IS creating a vaccine monopoly !

With a worldwide shortage and Thailand struggling to procure enough vaccines they will only allow one Thai company to manufacture it.

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Just now, Cake Monster said:

Thailand is known Globally as the land where literally anything and everything is copied.

Why not copy a Covid Vaccine. I think maybe there are already some enterprising outfits out there that have a recipe already to go as soon as Vaccines hit Thai soil.

 

I was under the impression that is exactly what they're doing; copying the AstraZeneca vaccine. However they were,  then they are not, going to allow other vaccines to be sold. Who knows what will happen tomorrow. 

 

Tourism to Thailand will not happen until they vaccinate the bulk of the Thai population. No worries you nabobs of negativity. I'm sure they will be ready when Year of the Tiger rolls around. WooHoo! 

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5 hours ago, shy coconut said:

It is interesting that the Astra Zeneca vaccine has been withdrawn from use in Sth Africa 

and they are trying to flog their current stock and those on order.

 

At the same time the health authorities in the UK are trying their best to contain the 

SA variant by way of mass home testing.

 

This may well mean that the AZ vaccine, which the UK government is pinning its hopes on 

isn't proving effective against that particular strain...

 

For disclosure, I am not an expert virologist and last studied biology 45 years ago, so am happy 

enough to admit that I am in no way any kind of authority on this matter!!

 

The vaccine  has not been withdrawn from South Africa.  It's South Africa that decide not to use.  very big difference. You misunderstand the information on the Oxford vaccine. There is no information yet on whether it acts to reduce severe illness or death with South Africa variant. So far, only one study indicated that it had little effect against mild disease caused by the variant now spreading in South Africa. More information needed to see next step. The experts say to continue with the vaccine as it is better than nothing. What is certain is that if this type of vaccine  does not work, then similar type from Russia and China will not work either.  The Pfizer and Moderna appear to work.

 

I do not think ethical to allow private import and sale of vaccine. We must prioritize the  vulnerable and health care workers first. Hiso and generals are lower risk.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, LomSak27 said:

I was under the impression that is exactly what they're doing; copying the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Not exactly - they have a signed agreement allowing them to manufacture the AstraZeneca vaccine here, under license.

 

That's not quite the same as just "copying" it, which to me, suggests some kind of illegal counterfeit version.

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36 minutes ago, hotchilli said:

With a worldwide shortage and Thailand struggling to procure enough vaccines they will only allow one Thai company to manufacture it.

This was pointed out by Thanathorn and he now faces LM charges.

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8 hours ago, webfact said:

Thai businesses protest move to stop private vaccine imports

it'd have been a big surprise if the title was "Thai workers protest move...".

with private vaccine imports, businessmen will the first to be vaccined. they can afford it

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It is a little concerning that the current Thai program is to vaccinate half of the Thai population by the end of the year. If private hospitals are not allowed to  import the product it looks like all Falangs will have to wait until sometime late next year.

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Shameful.

 

The aim should be to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible. If people have the money to pay for a vaccine privately and are willing to do so, they should be allowed to do so. It reduces the risk to others and reduces the burden on the public sector meaning those who cannot pay for it, get it sooner.

 

It's easy to see what is happening here. Even by the "government's" standards, this is really low.

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Could you trust a private identity, profit driven to really care what they injected so long as the cash register keeps ding dinging - - 

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16 minutes ago, Artisi said:

Could you trust a private identity, profit driven to really care what they injected so long as the cash register keeps ding dinging - - 

 

Well personally I would trust a privately sourced vaccine from the likes of Bumrungrad much more than I would trust something sourced by this Thai 'government'.

 

Others have even suggested that the government's procurement process could also be profit driven. I don't believe that for a second given this government's fantastic record and exemplary moral character, but imagine for a moment if that were true. Shocking huh? :coffee1:

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8 hours ago, RotBenz8888 said:

Hotels and Agoggo bars turn into vaccin production labs? The desperation seems to reach new levels every day. 

 

Might also try training the massage, salon and bar girls to give the shots.

 

Get your vaccine and then a happy ending. 👍🏼

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