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Coronavirus Vaccines

First batch of Moderna doses to arrive Monday



PHOTO: Flickr/Marco Verch

560,000 long-awaited doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine will finally arrive in the kingdom on November 1. According to a Bangkok Post report, their arrival has been confirmed by Dr Chalerm Harnpanich, president of the Private Hospital Association. He says once quality checks have been completed, they will be distributed to the hospitals and other institutions who ordered them. The vaccine will be administered to those who have pre-registered and paid.

Once the delivery arrives on Monday, the Department of Medical Sciences will carry out quality checks, which Chalerm says shouldn’t take more than 5 days. He says hospitals should receive them by November 8 at the latest and says people who pre-registered in the first round should contact their hospital.

The PHA has ordered over 8.6 million doses of Moderna, with 1.9 of those expected to arrive in December. A million doses will go to the Thai Red Cross, with Ramathibodi and Siriraj hospitals getting 100,000 doses each. The remainder will be distributed to other hospitals and all 8.6 million doses are expected to have arrived by next March.

The delay in the arrival of the vaccine has created frustration among Thais and expats who registered and paid for Moderna. According to the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation, the authorised distributor, Zuellig Pharma, experienced problems trying to get doses from its European site, but has now switched to a US site.

Chalerm says that people who’ve already had 2 doses of Sinovac, followed by an AstraZeneca booster this month, could be given a fourth dose, using Moderna, in the next 3 months. Those who’ve received 2 doses of Sinovac but no booster could receive a Moderna booster immediately, whereas people fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca will need to wait 6 months before being eligible for a Moderna booster. He adds that the Thai Food and Drug Administration has also approved the Moderna vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 17.

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SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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