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Coronavirus Vaccines

Thai Red Cross denies its order of Moderna led to hospitals receiving fewer doses

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Wikimedia

The Thai Red Cross Society is denying claims that its order of 1 million doses of the Moderna vaccine affected the number of doses allocated to private hospitals. The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation is processing the order on behalf of the society. According to a Bangkok Post report, several hospitals have cancelled appointments for the Moderna vaccine saying they’ve been allocated fewer doses than expected. Some have pointed the finger at the 1 million doses ordered by the TRCS.

In response, the society has shared copies of its correspondence with Moderna distributer, Zuellig Pharma, in which it’s confirmed the order of 1 million doses will arrive in the last quarter of the year. The letter also confirms that the actual importing of the doses will need to be managed by the GPO, as the law dictates that only state agencies can import vaccines. The letter also adds that Zuellig Pharma has informed the GPO that the 1 million doses of Moderna arriving in the last quarter of the year are for the Red Cross.

It’s understood the allegations against the TRCS arose after a Facebook user posted a complaint on Intrarat Hospital’s page, saying his appointment for Moderna has been cancelled even though he’d paid in advance. The hospital has responded by saying it was forced to cancel appointments after being allocated fewer doses than expected, adding that full refunds will be given.

According to the Bangkok Post report, the hospital says that while the Private Hospital Association ordered 9.2 million Moderna doses, the GPO says it can only import 4.9 of those, with 1 million going to the TRCS first.

Meanwhile, the TRCS is also ordering a further 5 million doses of a second-generation Moderna vaccine, which offers increased immunity against variants. Those doses are expected to begin arriving next year. It’s understood that for this second order, the need to go through the GPO has been removed and Zuellig Pharma is managing the import process.

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SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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