Don’t blame the people. Don’t blame the hostess lounge. Blame the lack of vaccine

General Prayut Chan-o-cha can no longer blame the people. The high and mighty of Bangkok society can no longer blame poor people.

In Thailand, inequality is a disease that eats at your brain and swallows your conscience whole.

At the beginning of Thailand’s COVID-19 outbreak in January of last year, we were hysterical in blaming the “little ghosts,” migrant workers returning from South Korea. But the superspreader was an army-run Muay Thai Stadium.

During the second wave of the outbreak earlier this year, we blamed Myanmar migrant workers. But the government was tightlipped on crossborder trafficking of workers and slowed to admit the clusters at illegal casinos as both fall squarely on the government’s responsibility.

With the third outbreak over the weekend, General Prayut angrily pointed at the people and said we lack conscience.

It turns out the Japanese ambassador also tested positive, having been taken out for a meal by the high-and-mighty poo-yai of Thailand. Also tested positive is Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob and Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd, former director-general of the Public Relations Department.

In another genuinely nauseating twist, the timeline of infected stars such as Apiwat “Stamp” Ueathavornsuk is published. The timelines of Minister Saksayam and Major General Sansern are, well, you know…

The key takeaway from the situation is this:

We, the people, may joke about where the Transport Minister might have been, a hostess lounge on Thonglor Soi 25 or Thonglor Soi 13. But it’s no joking matter that we are in April 2021, but where are the vaccines?

As of 7 April, only 0.36% of the population has been vaccinated. That’s 323,989 people. Of which, only 49,635 people have received the second dose. Therefore, less than 50,000 Thais have been fully vaccinated. Currently, the only vaccines available are AstraZeneca and Sinovac.

Other vaccines, such as Johnson & Johnson, have been approved by the Thai Food & Drug Administration (FDA). But where are the vaccines? When can we get vaccinated at hospitals? Why do we still have to wait for the government?

The truth of the matter is, worldwide, there aren’t enough vaccines to go around. Every country wants vaccines. Thailand has to get in line. The question then is, why aren’t we at the head of the queue?

The obvious answer is because we placed all our bets on AstraZeneca and Siam Bioscience, which won’t be ready until June of this year. All other vaccines, such as Sinovac, are reactionary emergency measures because the second wave hit us.

So, dear general, don’t blame the poor, don’t blame the people, blame your own vaccine strategy.

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