The first lot of five million doses of Moderna Covid-19 vaccines are scheduled to be delivered in Thailand by the end of the year, the Thai Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) revealed today, July 5th.
GPO director Vitoon Danwiboon confirmed to the press that the GPO would receive the first lot of Moderna from Zuellig Pharma, Moderna’s supply partner for Covid-19 vaccines in Southeast Asia, in the fourth quarter or around October 2021.
Regarding the previous news of a total booking of nine million doses, the director stated the number was from an informal booking survey of Private Hospital Associations, which exceeded the number to be received during this first allocation. In plain terms, this means that four million people interested in Moderna vaccines would not get their vaccine any time soon, although some private hospitals repeatedly warned people there was no guarantee of a delivery or inoculation day. Vitoon stressed that these were informal surveys done by many hospitals and were not official. It also doesn’t mean that nine million people registered for Moderna vaccines, as the number was based on surveys and not registrations.
He stated: “The excessive number of four million shots had been mentioned during a GPO meeting on July 1st. The organization has already contacted Zuellig Pharma and booked the remaining number of Moderna vaccines (4 million) from its next production estimated sometime in 2022. The estimated amount of vaccines to be received in the next lot would be confirmed by the distributor at a later date. That exact date has not been set.”
Regarding the delay in vaccine allocation, GPO restated that Thailand has been coordinating with Moderna foreign distributors since February and has been in talks with Zuellig Pharma after they became the main supply partner in Southeast Asia in April. The government also followed its requirement, stating that the vaccine must be purchased through government agents only.
“We’d like to confirm that every step of the process is based on the plan mutually agreed by all parties. Everything perfectly follows the planning framework of Zuellig Pharma. The company also confirmed that the vaccine will be distributed as scheduled. The accusations by some people on social media of a slow operation is not true as there are many steps, paperwork, and procedures that have to take place.” Vitoon concluded.
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