Doctor Boon VS General Prayut: the tragedy of vaccine shenanigans

Sinovac is a forgone conclusion. The government will stick with it come hell or high water.

But Sinovac isn’t the only problem.

The government promised 10 million doses of Siam BioScience’s AstraZeneca per month. But, at this point, we only get five million doses. There’s no explanation as to why. Did the government make a bad deal? Did AstraZeneca renege on the deal? Nobody knows because contracts are sealed shut, there’s no transparency, and hence, no checks and balances.

But Sinovac and AstraZeneca aren’t the only problems.

While finally, the government greenlit private hospitals to order Moderna, shenanigans immediately ensued.

These are the words of Doctor Boon Wanasin, Chairman of the Thonburi Healthcare Group, in a 5 July interview with Krungthep Turakij Biz Insight.

“Currently, nine million people ordered the vaccine [Moderna]. But we may only receive 3.7 to 3.9 doses, and perhaps another 1.1 million doses early next year. So for those who ordered with us, there’s only a one-in-three chance, whoever ordered first, get it first.”

“Private hospitals tried to import alternative vaccines since October last year. There were negotiations, but the government said these are emergency vaccines, so we couldn’t import them.”

Come April this year, with the critical infection spread; the government opened a channel for the private sector to order the vaccines that the government has not ordered. Private hospitals then ordered Moderna, but we are stuck with many [legal] procedures, from meetings to documents. By the time everything is done, we may get the vaccines in November. Personally, I can’t wait. We want the vaccines within July or no later than August.”

“[To obtain more vaccines] if the private sectors aren’t allowed to do it, then the prime minister must do it. Even I can do it; why can’t the prime minister pick up a telephone?”

Well, he’s in a 14-day quarantine, so there’s plenty of time for phone calls. But [sigh] you know…

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