Thanathorn denies ever demeaning AZ vaccine or campaigning against vaccinations
Progressive Movement Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has denied he had ever demeaned the AstraZeneca vaccine.
In a letter to Nation TV clarifying his vaccination at Phra Samut Chedi Hospital in Samut Prakan, Thanathorn alleged that the TV channel had misreported him as having demeaned the AZ vaccine but still receiving it.
Nation TV is part of Nation Multimedia Group, which also owns The Nation Thailand website.
Nation TV’s website (nationtv.tv) on Thursday published Thanathorn’s clarification.
In the clarification, Thanathorn said he had never questioned the quality of AZ vaccines but he questioned the government’s decision to acquire Sinovac vaccines, which he felt was of low quality in protecting the public against Covid-19.
Thanathorn insisted that although Nation TV quoted some members of society claiming he had criticised the quality of AZ vaccines, the TV channel should allow him to clarify the issue.
Thanathorn also mentioned in his letter that he had always campaigned for the people to receive vaccines against Covid-19. He said the Nation TV report was inaccurate when it quoted some people as having said that he failed to talk positively about the AZ vaccine although he eventually got vaccinated with the very same vaccine, locally produced by Siam Bioscience.
Thanathorn said the report was a repetition of false news stating that he demeaned vaccines and encouraged people not to be vaccinated.
The party leader also attached a link from a social media platform showing he had actually campaigned for Thais to get vaccinated.
Thanathorn also denied the Nation TV report which said he had his staff contact the hospital via a respected person in Samut Prakan to get vaccinated as a “VIP”.
He said he would never seek such privileged treatment.
Thanathorn called on Nation TV to show evidence behind the report. If the channel failed to come up with the evidence, it must issue an apology and delete that part of the report, he said.
In the same post on the website, Nation TV explained that Thanathorn was referring to its website report, which was presented separately from Thanathorn’s clarification.
Nation TV said that after it received Thanathorn’s explanation, it also published his statement in another report. The TV station said the two posts were not made at the same time because the information was obtained at different times.
The channel said that when it reported about Thanathon’s vaccination in its evening news TV programme, it also presented his clarification along with quotes of people who had questioned him.
Nation TV insisted that it did not say Thanathorn had demeaned vaccines or campaigned against vaccination but it simply presented a background of information on why society raised questions about Thanathorn’s vaccination.
The channel added that it had clearly stated in its website report that information about Thanathon’s vaccination at the hospital came from three sources – a former staffer of the hospital, an active staff member and a provincial public health official.
The former staffer had worked at the hospital when Thanathorn was administered the vaccine, Nation TV pointed out.
The TV station also made it clear that it had to protect the identity of its sources.