Moderna Vaccines Will Arrive in November, Firm Says

In this file photo dated Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, a bottle of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on a table before being utilised in Topeka, USA. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, FILE)

BANGKOK — The longest pre-order of your life may soon be over: Moderna’s mRNA vaccine will start arriving in Thailand by November following months of delay, a distributor representative said.

Zuellig Pharma, the company responsible for distribution of the Moderna vaccine, said the doses will arrive in weekly shipments, starting in November. The firm did not give any precise date. Despite previous pledges, the Moderna vaccines failed to be delivered to Thailand this month, a cause of frustration for many Thais who already pre-ordered the vaccines from private hospitals and clinics.

Speaking to the press, ZP Therapeutics Zuellig Pharma Thailand’s general manager apologized for the long wait and said they did everything in their power to get the vaccines into the country as fast as possible.

The general manager cited a rush of overwhelming demand, production delays and legal complication for the delay in vaccine deliveries. Zuellig Pharma was working with Moderna to find more production sources to speed up manufacturing and had looked for sources in Europe and the United States, the manager said.

Now they expect between 100,000 and 300,000 Moderna vaccines to be delivered to Thailand every week starting next month. The weekly shipments will continue until Zuellig Pharma delivers 1.9 million Moderna vaccines by the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the company.

The finalised dates for each shipment are expected to be confirmed only 1 to 2 weeks before the delivery is received, the manager said, adding that the procedure is the same in every country that receives vaccine shipments from Moderna.

Moderna was approved by health authorities in July as an “alternative” vaccine that private hospitals and clinics can sell to customers. The sales typically come with a no-refund clause.