Air Force Blaming Pfizer Shot ‘VIP scandal’ On Admin Error

Pfizer Vaccine

Bhumibol Adulyadej Hospital and the Royal Thai Air Force’s Directorate of Medical Services have rejected claims made by the hospital’s staff that their quota for COVID-19 mRNA booster vaccines are being used up by VIPs who are not working on the frontline.

Instead, the directorate and the hospital blamed the controversy on human error, saying an administrative mistake led 172 hospital staff to miss out on their allocated Pfizer booster shot.

The suspected vaccine quota fraud came to light after several staff at Bhumibol Adulyadej Hospital revealed that the hospital only received 1,680 doses of the Pfizer jabs, despite having ordered 3,000 doses to cover its personnel.

They also revealed the names of 1,611 people who received the shots on Friday and Saturday — 172 of which were marked as suspicious.

Thanwit Saengprapha, chief of the directorate, and Isaraya Sukcharoen, director of the hospital, yesterday insisted the booster shots were not being diverted away to VIPs.

Lt Gen Saengprapha said the list of names produced by the hospital staff members was a result of data entry errors that occurred as administrative staff moved vaccine recipients’ data from one system to another.

He said 3,700 doses of the booster shot have been administered so far. By next week, all available booster shots should be administered, he added.

AVM Sukcharoen assured all 1,500 hospital workers will receive their booster shots as previously announced.

About 1,000 other people, who include other hospital workers and technicians who have to work near COVID-19 patients at the hospital, will be next, she said.

Out of the hospital’s 3,000 staff, 600 had already been given an AstraZeneca shot as their third shot.

Lt Gen Saengprapha added he wasn’t worried about activist Srisuwan Janya’s pledges to petition the air force to probe the alleged mismanagement of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.