Thai health officials have ordered a private hospital in Bangkok has ordered to stop advertising the advanced sale of the COVID-19 vaccine. The pre-sale orders where halted on the grounds that a covid-19 vaccine has yet to be approved by the Thai Government.
Vibhavadi Hospital told Reuters its online offer for 1,000 initial reservations for the two-dose Moderna vaccine had been the result of a misunderstanding. With reservations priced at 4,000 baht. The total cost of getting vaccinated would have been 10,000 baht ($330).
As the first governments begin vaccine roll-outs around the world, questions have been raised over how the limited supplies are prioritized. Furthermore whether people will be able to pay to jump to the head of the line.
The Ministry of Health said in a statement that a COVID-19 vaccine had yet to be approved for use in Thailand. Because of this advertising for the covid-19 vaccine violated regulations. “The removal of the advertisement was ordered,” it said.
Reservations for Covid-19 Vaccine
Chaisit Kupwiwat, a director at Vibhavadi Hospital, told Reuters: “There was a misunderstanding and so we’ve stopped the program. We planned to order the vaccines, but now we’ve stopped.”
The hospital had also sought reservations by Jan. 31 for vaccinations later in 2021. Moderna did not respond immediately to an emailed request for comment on any such sale.
Thailand has signed an advance deal for AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine. However the government has not set rollout plans for any vaccine yet.
Moderna’s vaccine this month became the second to get emergency use authorization from the U.S. FDA after the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine.
Moderna has said it will deliver approximately 20 million doses to the U.S. government this year. Moderna is also expected to have between 100 million and 125 million delivered globally in the first quarter of 2021.
In August, Moderna said it was pricing its vaccine at $32 to $37 per dose for smaller deals. Thailand is a major hub for medical tourism, drawing patients from Asia, the Middle East and beyond.