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Moderna vaccine doses to ship in October, but GPO foot-dragging means higher price for jabs

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The Government Pharmaceutical Organization said that Zuellig Pharma Co. has confirmed that the first 1.9 million doses of Moderna Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine will be shipped to Thailand in October.

Zuellig, Moderna’s Thai distributor, said the remaining 3.1 million doses ordered by private hospitals won’t arrive in Thailand until the first quarter of next year, however.

The GPO handled the importation of the Moderna vaccines even though they were ordered and paid for by private hospitals, through their national association.

It took months for the GPO to process the order and, in the interim, the price went up to 2,000 baht a dose, excluding insurance and service charges.

Private hospitals has sold reservations for a two-dose regimen for 3,800 baht. That price will now go up when people show up for their jabs.

According to the GPO, Zuellig Pharma has been in constant contact with the manufacturer and is making sure that the vaccine can be supplied, starting in October.

This alternative supply will reinforce the country’s vaccine security as more than 23 million people have been already inoculated with at least one dose. The GPO added that the timeframe for the Moderna vaccine deliveries will provide a level of confidence for those people who have booked their jabs with private hospitals and paid for them in advance.