Half-Million Moderna Doses To Arrive in Thailand Next Month

A half-million-dose batch of Moderna Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Thailand in two weeks, raising questions about the shots’ distribution between private hospitals and the Thai Red Cross.

On Saturday, distributor Zuellig Pharma’s affiliate ZP Therapeutics Co explained that the first 560,000 Moderna doses would arrive no later than November 5. It was the first time a specific date for the long-awaited delivery was confirmed since the country announced it would import the mRNA jabs.

The company stated that 1.9 million doses would be delivered this year’s fourth quarter, and 6.8 million shots are expected to arrive in the first 2022 quarter.

Moderna also revealed that it had applied to register a US-based manufacturing facility with Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration to ensure uninterrupted delivery of its vaccines in the kingdom.

News about the vaccine delivery from the US-based pharmaceutical firm raised questions about how the doses would be allocated to the two buyers: the Thai Red Cross and the Private Hospitals Association. Both have placed orders through the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO).

In July, private hospitals received orders for the mRNA vaccine, charging 3,300 baht for two doses.

But the new doses will come in batches, and the Private Hospital Association said it would allocate its quota to member hospitals.

Following said distribution plan, the association would assign 10,000 doses to all 227 member hospitals in the first round. However, it will deliver the shots to each hospital based on their demand for the second round.

According to Zuellig, Thailand has placed five orders for the Moderna vaccine to date. Two contracts, made by the GPO on behalf of private hospitals and the Red Cross, include those doses due to arrive in November and 6.8 million shots expected to be delivered by late 2022’s first quarter.

Deliveries from a million-dose contract, placed directly by the Red Cross, will also begin in early 2022.

The Chulabhorn Royal Academy ordered 8 million half doses (50 mg) for use as booster shots, but details on their delivery have yet to be unveiled.