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Private hospitals to order 5 million Moderna vaccine doses for paying customers

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Private hospitals in Thailand say they are ordering 5 million Moderna vaccine doses for paying clients who may want a different vaccine brand. Thailand’s Private Hospital Association, which includes more than 200 private hospitals across the country, is reviewing orders for the vaccine from its members and will order the vaccines through the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation.

Officials say private hospitals will offer the 2 shots of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine for a maximum of 3,000 baht total.

Thailand approved the Moderna vaccine for local use on May 13, making it the 4th vaccine to be approved by the FDA, after the AstraZeneca, Sinovac, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. But many in Thailand have residual fears of the AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines after several people who received them suffered from mild side effects.

A few people have reported “partial paralysis” after receiving the Sinovac vaccine, where doctors treated the patients with “medication to dissolve blood clots”. And, Astrazeneca has been discontinued in some western countries due to reports of rare blood clots.

Health experts are calling on the Thai government to include a variety of brands in its national vaccination drive after the South African variant was detected in the South last Saturday. The B.1.351 variant is thought to be the most resistant to current vaccines. The PHA’s president, Chalerm Harnphanich, says it is working on offering different choices of vaccine brands that will be different from the ones given under the government’s free programme.

Thailand’s vaccine rollout began on February 28 but a limited supply of vaccines has slowed the program. The government says it plans to start a mass rollout on June 7 after it’s expected to receive millions of shots of Sinovac and AstraZeneca. The government has also set a new target of administering 100 million doses before the end of 2021, based upon the arrival of more vaccines.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

 

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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