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Private hospital in Bangkok told to take down vaccine pre-order ads

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PHOTO: The Standard

Thailand’s Department of Health Service Support is demanding a private hospital in Bangkok’s Bang Khen district to remove advertising for people to pre-order their Covid-19 vaccines. The vaccines they were advertising were from the US biotech firm Moderna.

While the Moderna vaccine is now approved by food and drug authorities in Canada and the US, the vaccine still needs approval from Thailand’s FDA.

At this stage no Covid-19 vaccines have been certified for use in Thailand.

The advertisement were placed on social media on December 26 stating that the hospital was offering a Covid-19 vaccination. Of course, they were flooded with enquires. The hospital has not declared how many people responded to the promotion or paid booking slots for the proposed vaccine.

The DHSS director-general is asking staff to check the contents of the private hospital’s online vaccine promotion.

In the ads, the hospital was charging 4,000 baht for a booking of the vaccine. In the post the hospital said the vaccine would arrive in Thailand in October 2021. The all also announced that the vaccine would cost 6,000-10,000 baht.

Some Thai private hospitals have been price-gouging customers throughout the outbreak of Covid-19 in Thailand, asking patients to pay up to 30,000 for a Covid-19 test or demanding they have a test, at the patient’s expense, before undergoing any surgery.

Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration has ordered the hospital to immediately remove the posts.

“The exact price of the vaccine, which will have to be administered in two doses, will be known by Jan 6 next year.”

The link to a booking page on the private hospital’s website has now been removed.

The DHSS director-general says that the hospital may have violated Section 38 of the Medical Facilities Act by “failing to secure permission to run an advertisement for medicine and medical services”. “It is also liable for publicly carrying exaggerated information.

“Failure to obtain permission is punishable by a prison term, a fine, or both.”

 

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