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Thailand stocking up on Covid-19 drugs, private jabs may arrive later this year



PHOTO: Jernej Furman / Flickr

Thailand is stockpiling Covid-19 treatment, including the antiviral medication, Favipiravir, as a third wave of Covid-19 spreads across the country. The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation says is it is distributing supplies of Favipiravir to hospitals and placing more orders for the drug. It currently has 411,200 tablets in stock and has ordered another half a million. More than 4,000 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the latest outbreak.

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports that 3 new vaccines may be privately imported in the second half of this year and are expected to be available for around 2,000 baht a dose. Dr. Aurchart Kanjanapitak from Bangkok’s Ramkhamhaeng Hospital says people outside of high-risk groups should be able to pay for vaccination at private hospitals later this year.

The 3 vaccines that are expected to be available for purchase are the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, and the mRNA vaccine from Moderna. The first doses of the Johnson & Johnson jab are expected to be arrive in the Kingdom in October, after the Food and Drug Administration approved it for emergency use last month. Since then, it has run into a few stumbling blocks around the world, hit by the same blood clot concerns as the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The US has paused administration of the vaccine while the “extremely rare” incidents are investigated further. Johnson & Johnson has also paused the vaccine’s rollout in Europe. Aurchart says the vaccine will be administered by private hospitals in Thailand, adding that they will have to insure against any side-effects arising from inoculation.

The Moderna vaccine is also likely to be imported for administration by private hospitals, although it has not yet been registered with the FDA. Once approved, it’s expected to be available from August. Russia’s Sputnik V jab is also awaiting approval, with Aurchart saying the process could be accelerated to make the vaccine available from early June.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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