As Thailand’s vaccination rollout plods along with Sinovac vaccines that have little effectiveness against the Delta variant of Covid-19 and AstraZeneca production far behind schedule, many nervous Thai citizens are looking to private hospitals and third party groups importing more effective vaccines to turn the tides in the battle against Covid-19. This week has seen a step forward as Thailand’s Red Cross Society has struck a deal to import 1 million Moderna vaccines intended to be given for free.
The Thai Red Cross Society has negotiated a deal with Moderna to import 1 million vaccines, using the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation as the required government middleman. Vaccine producers can only negotiate sales to government agencies according to the rules set out by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, so the GPO takes the order from private entities like the Thai Red Cross Society and orders on their behalf.
The Society promised to distribute the 1 million shots for free vaccinations across the country. The Red Cross is one of the health-related state agencies that has received authorisation to import vaccines. His Majesty the King is the organisation’s royal patron, the president is Her Majesty the Queen, and the executive vice president is HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
The exact import timeframe has not been finalised, but it is suspected they will arrive at the same time as Moderna’s delivery of 5 million vaccines on order from the Private Hospital Association. Those are expected in the fourth quarter of 2021 or the beginning of 2022 at the latest.
The GPO plans to sign contracts and take payment on July 21 with the 285 private hospitals that banded together to mass order the 5 million Moderna vaccines. Then on July 23 the agency would in turn sign supply agreements with Moderna’s Thailand representative for that mass order. The Thai Red Cross Society order may or may not be signed at that time.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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