(LifeSiteNews) — Thailand’s Department of Disease Control announced that it is not canceling its contract with Pfizer for the COVID-19 vaccine, a claim that had gained wide circulation online last month but that the government is categorizing as “fake news.”
The statement, which was made on Facebook earlier this month, came after a flurry of haphazard reporting by right-wing media outlets and social media influencers who erroneously asserted that the country was voiding its agreement with the controversial pharmaceutical giant after 44-year-old Princess Bajrakitiyabha fell into a coma after receiving a booster shot in December.
An anonymous official with Thailand’s National Vaccine Institute denied the allegation that the Pfizer jab is on the verge of being pulled from the market. “There are no orders to stop or slow down usage or reconsider its use,” the person told the Associated Press. Pfizer spokesperson Trupti Wagh also confirmed to USA Today that the shot is still available for use in Thailand.
The controversy over the vaccine stems from remarks made by renowned microbiologist Sucharit Bhakdi in late January. Bhakdi, a Thai-German retired professor who has admirably pushed back against the medical establishment’s COVID-19 narrative over the past several years, told Swiss banker Pascal Najadi last month that he spoke with “advisers to the highest authorities in Thailand” and that he shared with them the research he has conducted on the dangers of the Pfizer vaccine. When he did this, he alleged, they “jumped up in the room” and told him “we will see to it that Thailand is the first country in the world that is going to declare this contract null.” Many outlets unfortunately concluded that this meant the government had already canceled, or that it had already decided to void, its contract.
Bhakdi told the Associated Press that some of the claims that have been spread about his interview are an “exaggeration,” but that he believes the Thai government may still pull the shot due to safety concerns. “I did speak with highest-ranking advisers to the government and Royal Family, thereby explaining why Thailand could and should annul the Pfizer purchase contract,” he said via email at the beginning of this month. “No more, no less. And they seemed to be convinced. Nothing has happened due to internal counter-movements. We are renewing our efforts, however, and with luck there will be things to report in about two weeks.”
Thailand has relied on a variety of vaccine-makers in recent years. King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s own company — Siam Bioscience — contracted with AstraZeneca to produce a shot in 2021. It reportedly experienced a 50-fold increase in profits as a result. China’s Sinovac jab as well as Moderna’s shot have also been used on the Thai people. To date, Pfizer has delivered over 30 million doses to the country. It is not readily known if Thailand would continue using non-Pfizer vaccines or cancel all of its existing contracts if it were to, as Professor Bhakdi says, nullify its deal with Pfizer.
Princess Bajrakitiyabha is one of the King’s three children, though he has yet to name a successor. A graduate of Cornell University in the U.S., she has served as her country’s ambassador to Slovenia, Slovakia, and Austria. She was hospitalized on December 14 after experiencing a heart problem while walking her dogs in preparation for a canine competition. Rumors that her illness was due to the COVID shot instantly spread online, though it is not apparent if her vaccination status has ever been made public. A statement released by the Palace in January revealed that medical equipment was being used to support her heart, lungs, and kidneys.
Bhakdi said in his interview that he believes “in all probability, the princess is suffering as a victim of this jab, as so many people around the world are suffering.”
As of the publication of this story, the Thai Crown has not provided an update on Bajrakitiyabha’s health since the first week in January.