Thailand’s Foreign Affairs Minister says the US government has offered to donate another 1 million vaccine doses to the kingdom. According to a Bangkok Post report, Don Pramudwinai says the doses are likely to be the Moderna mRNA vaccine and the Public Health Ministry is planning to propose the offer to Cabinet.
The last US donation of a million Pfizer doses hit a series of hurdles and was seemingly hampered by government bureaucracy. At the time, the Thai-born US Senator Tammy Duckworth accused the Thai government of dragging its heels in completing the necessary paperwork. A similar fate hit a donation of 1 million Moderna doses from Poland, with the intended recipient, Thammasat University Hospital, accusing the government of blocking the donation by failing to provide the required paperwork.
It remains to be seen if the latest offer US comes to fruition or is also thwarted. According to the Bangkok Post report, Minister Don says it will all depend on how quickly the paperwork (there’s that word again) is submitted for Cabinet approval.
Should the Moderna donation arrive, a leading Thai virologist suggests the doses could be used as boosters. Yong Poovorawan says Thailand could follow the UK example, whereby half a dose of Moderna is being given to people who’ve previously received 2 doses of AstraZeneca. The US is doing the same for people fully vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna. In Switzerland, fully vaccinated people over the age of 70 are also receiving Moderna as a booster.
Yong says the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University is currently studying what the dosage of Moderna should be for people who’ve been fully vaccinated with Sinovac and Sinopharm.
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SOURCE: Bangkok Post