First batch of Moderna vaccine delayed

First batch of Moderna vaccine delayed

The arrival of the first batch of mRNA-based Moderna Covid-19 vaccine is likely to be pushed back to November after all, the original delivery date, according to Zuellig Pharma, the authorised distributor.

The remarks came a day after the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) announced that Thailand could expect to receive its first batch of Moderna this month, sooner than expected.

The company's remarks take the sechedule back to the November status quo.

Zuellig Pharma stressed that it has been making preparations for an October delivery but said that changes in the delivery schedule have cropped up which are beyond its control.

The company also said deliveries of the deal, for a total of 1.9 million doses of Moderna vaccine, are expected to be made every week, at a rate of between 100,000-300,000 doses in each shipment. The remaining 6.8 million doses are expected to be delivered in the first quarter of next year, the company said.

It said it is unable to provide exact dates until the vaccines pass the required quality inspections.

"We will be informed of the delivery dates by the manufacturer two weeks before the delivery is made," said the company.

Zuellig Pharma said the company and Moderna are working closely to make sure the vaccine delivery is made as soon as possible, and one possible solution being considered is securing a new source.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the registration of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine from ROVI Pharma Industrial Services SA, based in Spain's Madrid. Moderna is the fourth vaccine to be approved by the Thai Food and Drug Administration, after the AstraZeneca, Sinovac and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

The GPO, the state-owned drug-making agency, is authorised by the government to procure alternative vaccines for distribution by private hospitals. The procurement contract was signed in July this year.

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