Thonburi Healthcare Group (THG) has agreed to sign a contract to procure 20 million doses of mRNA vaccines from BioNTech’s representatives tonight, July 15th, while Thailand’s Red Cross Society has successfully negotiated to import 1 million doses of Moderna vaccines.
THG Chairman Boon Vanasin revealed to the press this afternoon that the trading agreement would be made between the THG and agents in the United States to order the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. The distribution would proceed through a government agency, which would be specified in the contract.
Though not yet been stated in the announcement, the Pattaya News/TPN Media noted that the current government agencies legitimate for vaccine importations are the Department of Disease Control, Government Pharmaceutical Organization, National Vaccine Institute, Thai Red Cross Society, Chulabhorn Royal Academy, and other government agencies that provide public health services.
According to the chairman, a total of 20 million doses of mRNA vaccines have been under discussion, with the first lot of 5 million doses allocated by the end of July. Regarding the approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Boon stated that it would expectedly take only a day as it was in the same group as Pfizer.
As of press time, however, the contract had not been signed and there were reports that BioNtech had denied the statements made by Boon. This is expected to be clarified in the next several days.
Meanwhile, the Thai Red Cross Society had reportedly negotiated to import 1 million doses of Moderna vaccines to the GPO for free injections to the public, according to budget committee spokesperson Thirarat Sameremvanit.
The importation period is under the process of the GPO which the committee had no information of. Presumably, the Moderna doses would arrive along with a total of 5 million doses that were reserved by the Private Hospital Association.
All this comes as the National Vaccine Institute has reportedly stated that the locally produced AstraZeneca can only supply roughly half of its estimated target of vaccine doses to Thailand, about 5-6 million a month versus the goal of ten million. AstraZeneca has reportedly asked the Ministry of Public Health to extend their total timeline for delivery of Covid-19 vaccines from the end of this year to May 2022. The reasoning is reportedly due to contracts and prior deals to export vaccines to other countries as Thailand is the main producer for several Southeast Asian nations of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
TPN media notes, however, that is no “set in stone” date for any of the vaccine’s arrival or promise of who they would be delivered and allocated to in terms of groups or provinces.
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