Private jab providers must follow ad rules

Private jab providers must follow ad rules

Will this do?: Women hold up saliva samples at improvised cubicles as a medical worker in full protective gear waits to collect them. The samples were for Covid-19 testing on people in at-risk groups in Yannawa district. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
Will this do?: Women hold up saliva samples at improvised cubicles as a medical worker in full protective gear waits to collect them. The samples were for Covid-19 testing on people in at-risk groups in Yannawa district. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

Private hospitals offering to order Covid-19 vaccines for their customers are required to follow the Public Health Ministry's regulations on Covid-19 vaccine advertising and regulations, the ministry said on Thursday.

The ministry has issued a set of five regulations to ensure the quality and safety of Covid-19 vaccination services and prevent exaggeration in advertising for vaccines, said Tares Krassanairawiwong, director-general of the Department of Health Service Support (DHSS).

Although alternative vaccination services will help accelerate the country's bid to reach herd immunity against Covid-19 outbreaks, the ministry to protect consumers against possible exaggeration and ensure fair competition among private providers offering vaccination services, he said.

A Covid-19 vaccine must be registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in Thailand and also approved by the FDA for advertising, he said.

Some advertisements already published by private hospitals had been suspended by the DHSS for fear they would mislead the public as their content has not been approved by the FDA yet, said Arkom Praditsuwan, deputy director-general of the DHSS.

Every advertisement about a Covid-19 vaccine must be submitted to the DHSS or the provincial public health office for approval, said Dr Tares.

Where private hospitals or healthcare providers have collected a deposit from customers and later failed to fulfil their promises as advertised, they are required to give a full refund.

These private healthcare providers are also required to specify the time the imported vaccine will arrive and be given to their customers, to ensure consumers won't end up waiting too long, he said.

He also said that every Covid-19 vaccination advert must contain text saying: "The government provides free Covid-19 vaccines to all people" and "Ordering a Covid-19 vaccine through this private hospital is an alternative service that you must pay for yourself."

The regulations are also aimed at curbing possible disputes between private hospitals and their customers over vaccination services, said Dr Arkom.


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