Thai hospital tycoon who promised Pfizer vaccine says deal now unlikely

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A deal to import 20 million doses of Pfizer-BioNtech (PFE.N), (22UAy.DE) said on Wednesday the chairman of Thomburi Healthcare Group (THG) (THG.BK) of Thailand. Is. There was unlikely to be a COVID-19 vaccine, despite his earlier claims that a deal was close.

Thailand is battling its biggest COVID-19 outbreak yet, and is racing for safer vaccines. Last month, THG president Boon Vannasin said that talks to strike a deal with BioNTech were about to end, but both Pfizer and BioEntech said they were not in talks with THG.

“Our problem is that we are unable to import it because it has to come through a government agency,” Boon said on Wednesday during a television interview with MCOT television station. “I think we won’t be able to do that,” he said.

Boon did not say which importer his group was working with. Shares of THG fell 8.13% on Wednesday, with a benchmark decline of 0.35%.

Last month, BioNtech denied that it was in talks with THG, while a Pfizer spokesperson said the company was only in discussions with Thailand’s Ministry of Health and the Department of Disease Control.

Boon previously said he was working to secure vaccines indirectly through an undisclosed government agency.

Thailand has faced a surge in COVID-19 infections since late April, driven by the highly contagious Delta version of the coronavirus.

The Southeast Asian country’s main vaccine rollout began in June and is largely dependent on Sinovac (SVA.O) and locally manufactured AstraZeneca (AZN.L) vaccines.

More than 6% of Thailand’s 66 million population has yet to be fully vaccinated. The delay in the government’s vaccination program is less than the local production capacity of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The government has struck a deal for 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine coming later this year, and says it plans to buy an additional 10 million doses.

Agencies

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