The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has discussed acquiring alternative COVID-19 vaccines with the operators of private hospitals to further enhance public confidence in availability but has asked the public to continue to exercise preventative measures at this time.
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha disclosed in a press conference on Friday, following discussions with the Ministry of Public Health, medical councils and private hospitals that many non-government facilities are still contending with obstacles in acquiring COVID-19 vaccines despite efforts by the government to ease the process, pointing out that much of the hindrance is due to foreign protocols.
A committee to assist in acquiring alternative vaccinations led by CCSA Advisor Dr. Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn has been setup to speed up the effort and to signal government support for private acquisition of vaccines. Furthermore, the PM indicated legal hurdles will continue to be removed and the government will facilitate communications with producers.
The PM gave an assurance that the government is working at its utmost to provide vaccinations, saying that another 1.5 million doses will arrive this month and that the state is supportive of private acquisition.
“We are proceeding toward alternative vaccines, which should be helpful to hospitals still in need of doses. Nonetheless, it will be dependent on producers, which we must speak with. We have to discuss principles and legal matters. I welcome private hospitals indicating that they
1. Wish to acquire vaccines in aid of the state, a course of action we have not blocked as we have registered many entities and vaccines, which themselves have experienced import problems that need to be addressed not just by us but by foreign parties
2. That they have an approach to gaining Food and Drug Administration approval for their alternative vaccines, which could take some time and
3. That they consider how much vaccine is on the way, as in April we will receive another 1.5 million doses”
On several private hospitals no longer testing for COVID-19 due to insufficient resources, the PM said more field hospitals will be setup to address demand and avoid outbreaks within hospitals, especially among medical workers.
The Prime Minister reiterated that citizens must be wary and adhere to safety protocols, avoiding risky locations. He acknowledged Songkran holiday reunions and asked that all people avoid crowds, asking for similar care to be taken during the coming period of Ramadan. (NNT)