Rest of Moderna Vaccine Shipment to Arrive by 2022

A government representative points at a shipment of Moderna vaccine on Nov. 1, 2021. Image: Government Pharmaceutical Organisation.

BANGKOK — The first doses of the long awaited mRNA vaccine from Moderna arrived in Thailand earlier this week, but the customers who pre-ordered the shots will have to wait until “the first quarter of 2022” for all the shipment to be fulfilled.

The first batch of the Moderna vaccine was flown to Suvarnabhumi Airport on Monday after a series of delays that frustrated many customers who had to pay for the vaccine. Of the 560,200 doses that arrived, 77 percent will go to private hospitals following quality checks, with the remainder being distributed to state agencies, namely the Red Cross Society.

In total, the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation has placed orders for 8.6 million doses on behalf of private hospitals and the Thai Red Cross Society. A further 1.9 million doses are expected by the end of this year, with the remainder arriving in the first quarter of 2022, according to the president of the Private Hospital Association.

Government regulations ban private hospitals from ordering the Moderna vaccines on their own. Instead, they must go through the bureaucratic hoop of the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation.

Private Hospital Association director Chalerm Harnpanich told the media that customers who have already booked and paid for the Moderna vaccine will be prioritized in the allocation of the first batch.

He adds that anyone who has already been allocated an appointment for a Moderna shot can reschedule it or transfer their doses to someone else.