Coronavirus (Covid-19)Thailand

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

Stock photo via Wikimedia Commons

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

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.


      1. AZ has proven to be effective against even Brazilian and Indian variants. Only against the SA variant it is still ineffective. Plus the blood clots were a dozens in millions, so the proportion is yet low and safe.

    1. Rare clots form in regards to AZ, it was found 27 people out of 35million had clots.It was also found that over half of the 27 would of had clots without taking the AZ vaccine

  1. ‘But many in Thailand are fearful of the AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines after several who received them suffered from severe side effects.’

    Correction; After a few who received them had minor side effects.

    They must have more money than sense.

  2. A study mentioned by BBC said that AZ is actually effective against the Indian and Brazilian variants, similarly to Pfizer. It is not that effective for the SA one, the one of most concern.

  3. “This was actually very Good News. I am very happy to pay for the Moderna Vaccine”

    But you and many others may not get it, @MJ et al.

    Five million doses will go nowhere and demand will almost certainly far outweigh supply as that’s less than 5% of those who need to be vaccinated and 95% are very unlikely to prefer Sinovac and AZ, even free.

    It’s very disappointing that the PHA have erred so much on the side of caution, possibly massively underestimating the demand including for booster doses for those who have already had AZ or Sinovac.

    As they were / are not allowed to take advance bookings to get an accurate idea of demand, one could be forgiven for thinking that someone wants 95% of the population to have no option but to have AZ or Sinovac.

    It would have been interesting to see how many takers there would have been for Moderna, at a cost of 3,000 baht, if it had been offered alongside AZ and Sinovac at registration.

    That would have saved the government / economy a great deal of money and speeded up the vaccine procurement and roll out … but someone would have lost face, and possibly a great deal of money too …

  4. Shouldn’t worry about the side effects with the AZ vaccine. It’s the low efficacy when faced with the South African variant to be concerned about with AZ. I’ve had my first AZ jab and will get my second in a month or so. I would be nervous about going to a country where the SA variant is around. A booster has already began trials which seems to work well against the SA variant but this won’t be available until the autumn. Concerning times indeed. This pandemic has a while to go yet….

  5. We already knew that the private hospitals were ordering Moderna vaccines … would be news if you would have informed us about WHEN they would be available. I would also like to know if foreigners would have access at the same time as Thais.

  6. Those asking “when will Moderna be available” don’t seem to pay much attention to the news.

    In many other reports, it said it won’t be available until October.

    So the question is, do you get the government’s “free” vaccine now or hope you can last until October?

  7. “So the question is, do you get the government’s “free” vaccine now or hope you can last until October?”

    Or do you do both, as I plan to do (albeit knowing I’ll get AZ first), depending on the results of the current studies?

    For the vast majority it won’t be a choice they can make, as even if things go to plan it’s very unlikely that more than a third of the country will have been vaccinated by October, even if first doses are a priority.

    There simply aren’t going to be enough doses available by then, even if Siam Bioscience’s production isn’t delayed again.

    … and five million doses / 2.5 million people is unlikely to meet the demand, so even of you “last until October” you may not be able to get Moderna then anyway.

  8. @Simon Small

    Five million doses will go nowhere and demand will almost certainly far outweigh supply as that’s less than 5% of those who need to be vaccinated and 95% are very unlikely to prefer Sinovac and AZ, even free

    You did one man survey? where is your data from?

  9. “You did one man survey?”

    Sorry if English is your second language, Gosport, but “almost certainly” and “very unlikely” mean … well … “almost certainly” and “very unlikely”.

    I’ve no idea why you imagine I did a “one man survey” to reach that conclusion.

    “where is your data from?”

    The population of Thailand minus the number already vaccinated minus those aged under 18 gives you the number who need to be vaccinated given the efficacy of the vaccines, while the number of doses divided by two gives you the number who can be vaccinated with Moderna as it’s a two dose vaccine.

    Divide one into the other, multiply by 100, and you get a percentage.

    If you have a friend with young children, the children could probably do the maths to give you the “data” if that’s too complicated for you.

  10. @Mister Stretch – it was previously reported that the private hospitals were preparing to order between 5M-10M doses of the Moderna vaccine. Because there was no firm order number….nor even a firm order….there was only speculation or estimation that any vaccines ordered would not be delivered until October.

    So this new updated article reports that the order will be for the lowest speculated number…..5M doses. It would be helpful if they would also update the estimated delivery date…..if they now have a firm order.

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