The Foreign Affairs Ministry has been plumbing diplomatic channels to acquire Covid-19 vaccine donations and other aid from friendly countries.
Spokesman Thanee Saengrat said the ministry has been strengthening ties with the U.S., China, Japan, India, the United Kingdom Russia and European Union nations, asking them to provide vaccines and other necessities to help Thailand combat the pandemic, as the government dawdled last year when it should have be preordering doses.
He said China has donated more than 7.5 million doses of the questionably effective Sinovac Biotech vaccine and helped facilitate the purchase and timely delivery of more doses from Sinovac and state-run China National Pharmaceutical Group, also known as Sinopharm.
Meanwile, Japan gave 1.05 million doses of AstraZeneca Plc. vaccine in early July while the U.S. donated 1.5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on July 30 with a very loose commitment to maybe send another million. America also donated US$5 million to Thailand’s Covid-19 fund.
In early August, the United Kingdom donated 415,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, while Bhutan agreed to enter a vaccine swap deal, which will see it delivering 105,000 doses of AstraZeneca to Thailand.
Switzerland donated 102 ventilators and 1.1 million rapid antigen test kits during an official visit by the Swiss vice president and foreign minister to Thailand from August 1-3.
The spokesman added that the ministry has also negotiated with the German government to obtain 2,000 sets of Casirivimab/Imdevim monoclonal antibodies to treat Covid-19 patients with severe symptoms.
Meanwhile, the ministry is seeking cooperation with India, South Korea and Australia to procure more vaccines for the country.
This story is based on reporting from the National News Bureau of Thailand.