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Thailand ploughs ahead with plans for re-opening tourist areas

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Thailand ploughs ahead with plans for re-opening tourist areas
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Officials announced that private hospitals will offer the two shots of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine for a maximum of 3000 baht total. The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation expect to order Moderna first in the process of importing vaccines for paid usage, according to the Private Hospital Association. The GPO will act as the middleman because manufacturers generally only work with governments.

But a timeline has not been announced. Yesterday the Public Health Minister estimated the Moderna vaccine will arrive in Thailand in the last 2 quarters of this year.

All the medical facilities in the association agreed to price match, placing the vaccine on the Commerce Ministry’s price control list, and expect that the price including all taxes fees and insurance will be no more than 3,000 baht. The vaccine itself cost about 1,200 baht per dose, and hospitals are putting together an insurance package in case of any side effects for allergic reactions with The General Insurance Association and the Office of the Insurance Commission. The coverage would be around 90-100 days from the first injection for about 50 to 100 baht.

The first step is to estimate how many jabs will be needed, and surveying has begun now to determine demand before ordering. Officials are urging people to register on the Mor Prom Line account to help in estimation, though there is no apparent option for getting a private vaccine in the app yet.

People are advised to try to get the free government shots first, as private vaccination is not currently available and may take a while. The Food and Drug Administration fined a hospital last year for registering people to get a vaccination when there are no alternate vaccines in Thailand yet.

Importing vaccines is complicated as licensing is needed to bring in biological products, but the GPO helping should simplify the process. The plan is for private hospitals to offer a paid vaccine in the Mor Prom account as a supplement to the government vaccination program. But they’re not allowed to use the same vaccine brands as it’s considered a conflict of interest.

Moderna is a likely vaccine choice for importation, but the Chinese Sinopharm jab is another option having gained World Health Organization approval Friday. The government so far intends to use vaccines from Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Russia’s Sputnik V.

When the government opened free vaccine registration one week ago, they expected 11.7 million people over 60 and 4.3 million people with conditions like diabetes, cancer, stroke, kidney failure, heart disease, and respiratory disease to register quickly. But according to data yesterday from the Public Health Ministry, only 1.25 million people used the official Line account of Mor Prom and just under 300,000 people registered in person at hospitals or with local volunteers.

In June they plan to use locally manufactured AstraZeneca vaccines from Siam Bioscience for all the vaccine appointments, with no details yet for the private vaccine appointments. Sinovac jabs can also be used and it was recently approved for people above 60 years old, after a new study since the clinical trials didn’t originally include elderly people.

Sinovac however has not been approved by the WHO for emergency use, who is only given its seal of approval to Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

Courtesy ofThaiger News

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