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After Month of Gov’t Bickering, Thailand Signs Deal for 5 Million Moderna Vaccine Doses

CORONAVIRUS-VACCINES-MODERNA

Nearly a month after Thailand announced it was buying 5 million doses of Moderna Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine, the Food and Drug Administration finally signed the contract.

The deal with Moderna distributor Zuellig Pharma has been held up for weeks due to bickering between various Thai agencies and the Private Hospitals Association, which will distribute the vaccines to members to resell at 3,800 baht for two doses.

The slow procurement was not as bad as that for 20 million doses of Pfizer Inc.’s mRNA vaccine. It took three months to get that deal signed.

Due to the late signing, Thailand won’t get the first batch of drugs until the fourth quarter of this year with the rest coming next year.

Apisamai Srirangsan, spokeswoman for the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said 1.5 million doses of the Pfizer Inc. vaccine donated by the U.S. would be administered on frontline medical personnel and health workers, elderly people, foreigners with chronic diseases and Thais in need of inoculation before travelling overseas.

The last group can register to receive the vaccine at the Bangkok vaccination and health center and the Banrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute.

The Thai News Agency contributed to this report.