Moderna jabs to be imported by October

Moderna jabs to be imported by October

Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine, which will be offered as an alternative to AstraZeneca and Sinovac, is expected to be available in Thailand by October while 2 million doses of Sinovac's Covid-19 vaccine will add to the country's stockpile this month.

Paiboon Aeksaengsri, secretary-general of the Private Hospital Association, said the association is coordinating with Zuellig Pharma Co, which is authorised to export the vaccine. He expects 5-6 million doses will be shipped to Thailand in the second half of this year.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week approved the registration of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine from ROVI Pharma Industrial Services S A, based in Spain's Madrid. It is the fourth vaccine to be approved by the FDA, after the AstraZeneca, Sinovac and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Mr Paiboon said the price of Moderna shots will be set by the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) which will procure the alternative vaccine supplies for distribution. He said recipients will be charged the standard price for the jabs and service fees, insisting private hospitals will not seek profits from distributing the Covid-19 vaccine.

Uachart Kanchanapitak, chairman of Ramkhamhaeng Hospital, said private hospitals are surveying demand for the alternative vaccine and will inform the GPO. He said demand ranges from 10,000 doses to 1 million doses.

However, he advised people to get their shots as soon as possible so the country can achieve herd immunity.

He also cited research findings that after people are fully vaccinated, their third or booster shot can come from any manufacturer. He likened it to vaccines against influenza which require a booster shot every year.

Meanwhile, GPO deputy director Sirinuch Cheewanpisalnukul said yesterday a total of 4.5 million doses of Sinovac's vaccine have been delivered to Thailand, including 500,000 doses donated by China that arrived on Friday.

She said the GPO received another 500,000 doses of the Chinese-made vaccine yesterday and another 1.5 million doses will be delivered later this month.

The first batch of 200,000 doses of Sinovac's vaccine arrived in February, followed by 800,000 doses on March 22, 1.5 million doses on April 10, and two million doses this month so far.

As of Friday, a total of 2,218,420 doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been given to select people across the country.

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