The internal memo, which contained various opinions, was reported by local media and shared widely on social media. Thai Health Minister Anutin Charanwirakul confirmed it to be authentic.
It included a comment from an unnamed official who recommended that officials not give health workers a booster shot of Pfizer-BioEntech’s vaccine, because such a move would “be acknowledging that the Sinovac vaccine is not effective.”
Sinovac did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the vaccine’s efficacy.
Comments in the leaked document prompted calls from leading Thai health experts, including a top medical council official, to give healthcare workers the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot.
The hashtag “Give Pfizer to medical personnel” is trending on Twitter in the country with over 624,000 tweets on Monday.
Senior health official Opus Karnakawinpong told reporters the document was not genuine, however, contrary to Health Minister Anutin.
Anutin said the comments on the booster shot were “just an opinion” and that there was an expert panel to determine vaccine policy. He said two doses of Sinovac’s vaccine were effective and “provided results beyond the norm.”
Thai experts have urged the government to use a variety of coronavirus vaccines to better protect the population.
Thailand has purchased 20 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for future delivery and will receive 1.5 million doses donated by the United States later this month.