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Thailand’s Central Administrative Court asked to lift COVID-19 vaccine import restrictions

The Thai Mai Thon (Impatient Thais) political group lodged a petition with the Central Administrative Court today (Monday) asking it to hold an emergency hearing on COVID-19 vaccine procurement restrictions and to allow the private sector and local administration organizations to import alternative vaccines for use in Thailand.

Led by Dr. Kamonpan Chivapansri and Suradet Namjampa, the group accused Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, Public Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Kiattibhoom Vongrachit and Dr. Vitoon Danvibul, director of the Government Pharmaceutical Organization, of failure in vaccine management, resulting in shortages and suffering.

The group asked the court to issue an injunction to lift the state monopoly on the import of COVID-19 vaccines and to allow the private sector and local administration organizations to import them, citing the cases of Cambodia and Taiwan.

Only five organizations in Thailand are legally authorised to import vaccines from abroad. They are the Government Pharmaceutical Organization, the Disease Control Department, the National Vaccine Institute, the Thai Red Cross Society and the Chulabhorn Royal Academy.

Previously, Thonburi Healthcare Group chairman Dr. Boon Vanasin claimed that his group had tried to import 20 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine for domestic use, but it did not go through.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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