At least 9 million doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine will be bought by two state agencies to be administered next year to people, especially vulnerable groups.
The two agencies were the Thai Red Cross Society and Chulabhorn Royal Academy. Both are authorised to import vaccines without having to go through the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO).
Deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisaranakul said on Tuesday the cabinet had approved 946.31 million baht from the central fund for the Thai Red Cross Society to buy 1 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to be administered to vulnerable groups free of charge.
She did not give details on the eligible groups.
Zuellig Pharma, Moderna's authorised representative in Thailand, charged $28, or 940 baht, per dose for the vaccine. With the transport cost of 26.75 baht per dose, the price per dose of the vaccine is 966.75 baht, she said.
A 30% advance payment is to be paid in September and the first lot will be delivered in early 2022.
Separately on the same day, the Chulabhorn Royal Academy held a briefing on the contract signing with Zuellig Pharma to buy 8 million doses of the mRNA vaccine to be used as the booster shot next year.
The first batch will arrive in the first quarter of next year to the last in the third quarter, it said. The vaccine should be available to organisations and companies from February or March.
“The priority will be the groups who received two shots in July and August. They will get it as the booster,” said secretary-general Nithi Mahanonda, referring to the people who had received the Sinopharm vaccine the CRA had bought earlier.
In June, the academy ordered the Chinese vaccine and sold it to companies and local administration organisations on the condition that they bought a few extra doses so the academy could administer them to vulnerable groups for free.
The Red Cross also used a similar model when it bought the Moderna vaccine from the GPO in July — charging local administration organisations for the shots but insisting they must give them to specific groups and people in their jurisdictions for free.
Private hospitals also asked the GPO to buy 5 million doses of the vaccine but was alloted 3.9 million. The first shipment was expected to arrive in the last quarter of this year.
Moderna and Sinopharm are considered alternative vaccines, meaning they can be bought by the private sector. The five vaccines reserved for the government's free vaccination programme are Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Sputnik V.