Thanathorn blasted for politicizing government’s AstraZeneca vaccine deal

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has criticized Progressive Movement leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, accusing him of not being grateful to the “Mother Land” for his alleged attempt to politicize the government’s procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.
Mr. Anutin was referring to Thanathorn’s criticism of the government’s procurement of vaccine from Oxford-AstraZeneca via Siam Bioscience, a Thai pharmaceutical firm, founded by the late King Bhumibol in 2009 to manufacture medicines and medical equipment for domestic use at affordable prices and for export, to reduce Thailand’s dependence on imports of medical supplies. The late King also founded the Apexcela Company, a year later, to be the marketing arm for products manufactured by Siam Bioscience.
In his Facebook livestream, titled “Royally-sponsored vaccine: Who Benefits?” Thanathorn questioned the deal between Siam Bioscience and AstraZeneca, allowing the Thai company to procure vaccine from just one source instead of several.
He said Siam Bioscience entered into a contract to produce 200 million doses of vaccine for AstraZeneca and, at the same time, received 1.449 billion baht funding from the government under the Viral Vector vaccine development program.
Besides the funding for Siam Bioscience, Thanathorn criticized the government for using taxpayers’ money to support a single private company for vaccine development, claiming that Siam Bioscience has accumulated losses, amounting to 581 million baht, since it …. Read more: https://tinyurl.com/yy87azh7
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