Pattaya tourism businesses say they are ready to buy coronavirus vaccines, but no one will sell to them.
During a May 15 video conference with Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome, Thanet Supornsahatrangsi of the Chonburi Tourism Industry Council said companies are prepared to buy their own vaccines to speed the reopening of Pattaya to foreign tourists, but the government still won’t allow it.
Numerous times government officials have said the private sector and local municipalities will be able to import or buy vaccines directly, but the process and approval for doing so remain entangled in red tape.
The process was complicated by public announcements from major foreign vaccine makers AstraZeneca PLC, Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. saying they only sell to governments, not to private entities.
Therefore, Thanet said, the tourism industry is dependent on the Thai government to procure vaccines and either administer them or sell doses to the private sector.
Speedy vaccination of the public is necessary if Thailand has any hope of reopening in the fourth quarter of the year, Thanet said.