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Thai Government Pressured to Come Clean Over Vaccine Procurement



procurement, Sinovac, Thai Government Seeks More Covid-19 Vaccines as Surge Worsens

Pressure is being pushed onto Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s government to come clean on Thailand vaccine procurement scheme as the delta variant of covid-19 ravishes the Kingdom while vaccine supplies dwindle.

A total of 333 academics, members of the press and NGO’s have backed the push to see details of vaccine procurement and distribution made public under the open-data principle.  Signatures have been amassed calling for full disclosure of terms relating to the state’s vaccine procurement contracts and policy.

A joint statement released by the network organizing the campaign said the Covid-19 pandemic could be resolved more effectively with the unhindered dissemination of information.

The statement said the crisis has caused a loss of lives, damaged the economy, strained the public health system and shaken public faith in the government like never before.

Vaccine procurement and distribution

Efficient management and fair distribution of vaccines holds the key to tackling the crisis. It insisted making data accessible to people would dispel any myths and counter fake news, the statement added.

Also, it would speak of the government’s sincere intention to manage the vaccine procurement and distribution with accountability by letting people know what relevant action plans and policies it has put in place.

The statement said the disclosure of information would bring about cooperation from the people and act as a source of reliable data.

According to the statement, the petitioners want to exercise their rights under the Official Information Act of 1997 to seek the disclosure of contracts and policy surrounding vaccine procurement and distribution.

They demanded that the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) divulge details of the processes involved in proposing, approving and signing vaccine procurement contracts in the past and for similar contracts in the future.

Important conditions associated with securing orders with vaccine manufacturers must be made public, as must crucial details including the number of doses ordered, the length of purchase contracts, deadlines for vaccine delivery, penalties for late delivery and any waivers of liability for manufacturers which miss delivery deadlines.

The petitioners also said plans need to be disclosed about what the government intends to do should there be further vaccine shortages.

Source: Bangkok Post

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