The Postponed Promotion of a COVID-19 Vaccine in Thailand is Setting an Interesting Point

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There’s an interesting point from a private Thai hospital that was told to stop promoting Covid-19 vaccines for sale in advance on the grounds that there is no vaccine licensed in Thailand yet.

In view of this, Vibhavadi Hospital told the nation that the result of a misunderstanding was its online bid for 1,000 initial reservations for the two-dose Moderna vaccine. With reservations priced at 4,000 baht which is S$177  and 10,000 baht would have been the overall expense of having vaccinated.

For this reason, questions have been raised on how scarce resources are prioritized and whether citizens would be able to afford to skip the line when the first governments launch vaccination roll-outs around the world. In a statement, the Ministry of Health said no Covid-19 vaccine had yet been licensed for use in Thailand and that advertising one breached hospital rules.

Consequently, Dr Chaisit Kupwiwat, a director at Vibhavadi Hospital shared that there was a misunderstanding and so they havestopped the programme in fact, they planned to order the vaccines, but now they have stopped. So by January 31, the hospital had requested reservations for vaccinations later in 2021.

Moderna did participate and involve themselves to an e-mailed request for comment on any such sale immediately. Meanwhile, Thailand has signed an advance agreement for the prospective Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca, but has not yet developed roll-out plans for any vaccine.

This month, Moderna’s vaccine, following the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, became the second to obtain emergency use permission from the United States Food and Drug Administration. Moderna has said it will supply about 20 million doses to the US government this year, and in the first quarter of 2021 it is projected to deliver between 100 million and 125 million doses worldwide.

In August, for smaller offers, Moderna highlighted that it was selling its vaccine at US$32 to US$37 which is also S$42.5 to S$49 per dose. A big destination for medical tourism, Thailand draws patients from Asia, the Middle East and beyond.

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