The Thonburi Healthcare Group (THG) has decided to postpone the signing of a contract to import 20 million Pfizer vaccine doses to later today.
THG chairman Boon Vanasin yesterday said a 40-page contract detailing the purchase was being studied by legal experts. The process was time-consuming and could not be done by yesterday as planned, he said.
His postponement came amid criticism the deal did not really exist. Dr Vanasin, however, insisted that after the contract’s signing, the first lot of 5 million doses of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine will be shipped to Thailand by the end of this month.
THG limits the amount to 5 million doses because it wants to see whether the order will face problems, as the vaccines need to be kept at -70º Celsius, he said.
Germany’s BioNTech told Reuters earlier yesterday it was not in talks with Thonburi Healthcare Group Plc.
“We are not in negotiations with the company you mentioned,” BioNTech said. However, it did not say if a state entity might be involved.
Dr Vanasin earlier announced a plan to import 20 million mRNA vaccine doses from BioNTech and said they would be imported by two state agencies authorised to procure the jabs.
He declined to name which one would act on behalf of the private sector.
Currently, there are five agencies allowed to procure vaccines for distribution, including the Government Pharmaceutical Organization, the Chulabhorn Royal Academy and the Thai Red Cross Society.