First Moderna batch arrives in Thailand

First Moderna batch arrives in Thailand

The first batch of 560,200 Moderna doses arrived as scheduled yesterday with 77% of the vaccines to be allocated to privately run hospitals.

It was delivered by Lufthansa and received by the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO), and will be be examined by the Department of Medical Sciences before being rolled out.

Sunaiyana Kitkasetpaisan, general manager of ZP Therapeutics, a division of Zuellig Pharma and the official Moderna partner in Thailand said the company was delighted that the shipment arrived on schedule.

She said the company already submitted documents to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its plan to import more jabs from another plant in the United States.

It is part of Zuellig's attempts to speed up vaccine deliveries to Thailand after it encountered difficulties in obtaining the vaccine from its production facility in Europe.

Of more than 8.6 million Moderna's mRNA vaccine doses sourced by the GPO on behalf of private hospitals, a total of 1.9 million doses will be delivered by the end of this year and the remainder in the first quarter of next year. According to the GPO, 77% of the first batch would be allotted to privately run hospitals and the remaining to state agencies.

The Thai Red Cross Society, which ordered a total of 1 million doses, would receive 20%, the largest share, before the rest is allocated to privately run hospitals in proportions related to their orders.

Deputy GPO director, Sirikul Methivirangsan, said recipients of the vaccine are insured against deaths and serious complications after inoculation and the coverage is extended to recipients of two doses and a booster shot within 90 days.

Dr Chalerm Harnpanich, president of the Private Hospital Association, on Monday urged those who placed orders to check with their hospitals as to whether they are eligible for the jabs this round.

He reaffirmed that those who had received two Sinovac shots and an AstraZeneca booster can postpone their jabs or transfer them to third parties.

Chulabhorn Hospital, meanwhile, has told customers who booked Moderna vaccines as a third shot to make sure they do not miss their appointments as left-over doses will be thrown away if they don't show up.

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