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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

5 million Moderna vaccines for Thailand, half of expectation



PHOTO: Half as many Moderna vaccines will be available later this year. (via Flickr Marco Verch)

The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation said that only 5 million Moderna Covid-19 vaccines would be available at private hospitals, half as many as the 10 million total figure expected. The government of Thailand is giving free vaccinations using the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines, while they had approved Johnson & Johnson, Modena, and Pfizer vaccines for private use.

They later rushed to approve the Sinopharm vaccine, China’s second vaccine brand, after Princess Chulabhorn made private arrangements to import the vaccine for her Chulabhorn Royal Academy. But legally, private entities can’t import vaccines into Thailand. The GPO is the intermediary body tasked with coordinating between private hospitals or entities in Thailand and the international vaccine companies to bring vaccines into the country.

The Private Hospital Association united private medical facilities together to bulk order alternate vaccines like Moderna for sale privately. They had expected a total order of 10 million vaccines with 2 shipments of 5 million doses, but this new revelation sounds like there may only be 5 million vaccines to go around total.

Private Moderna vaccination had been planned to roll out in October, but reservations and registration for the vaccines have already begun. And the planning and registration calculations were all based on receiving 10 million vaccines. The director of the GPO said that within this month the receiving hospitals need to reevaluate their rollout schedules and figures for a fourth-quarter launch.

The director explained that a supply agreement would be confirmed in August with Zuellig Pharma, one of Asia’s largest healthcare providers and distributors, as well as a team of lawyers. He reiterated the GPO were middlemen facilitating the transaction but were not in charge of the import details.

The news of the halving of expected Moderna vaccines gained attention after Sorayuth Suthassanachinda, one of the most popular TV stars in Thailand, took to Facebook to complain about the lack of vaccines that would be available for purchase at private hospitals, saying he thought 10 million vaccines were coming, not just 5 million,

The negotiations are ongoing, and the pricing for the double dose of the Moderna vaccines needed to be inoculated had yet to be confirmed. The Private Hospital Association had been quoted at around 3,000 baht for 2 doses, but the most recent estimate is 3,800 baht total.

SOURCE: ThaiVisa


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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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