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Thai Rush to Buy Moderna Vaccine Over Fears of Sinovac

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vaccine, Moderna Therapeutics to Join Thailand's Covid-19 Vaccine Drive

Phyathai Hospital in Thailand saw saw reservation slots for the Moderna vaccine snapped up in minutes after offering shots via e-commerce platform Shopee. A Shopee spokesman said “It was sold out within minutes”adding that the Moderna vaccine sale saw a spike in traffic on Phyathai Hospital’s page, attracting 2.6 million visitors.

Phyathai Hospital offered 1,800 slots for doses of the Moderna vaccine at 1,650 baht apiece on Shopee. “They were sold out at record speed,” the hospital’s CEO Att Thongtang told Reuters. “I feel very sorry for those who missed it.”

One buyer called lovesujuforever wrote: “It’s gone in 15 seconds and I’m so lucky to get one.” Another, labellelabel, said: “It’s a fight for vaccine.”

Hospital operator Thonburi Healthcare Group sold all 800,000 Moderna doses it ordered in two days, its chairman Boon Vanasin told Reuters.

Demand for the Moderna vaccine has increased after a leaked health ministry memo showed the Thai government was considering giving a booster shot of mRNA vaccine to medical workers who had already received two doses of Sinovac’s vaccine.

Sinovac ineffective against delta variant

A recent study conducted in Northern Thailand has revealed that the Sinovac vaccine’s efficacy among health personnel was ineffective and only 82.8% affective in preventing infections from the delta variant.

Narinpong Jinaphak, chairman of the Lawyers Association of Thailand, accused the government of failing to protect the public’s health, after the cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal to procure 10.9 million additional Sinovac vaccine doses at 6.1 billion baht.

He said the decision was made despite doubts over the efficacy of the Chinese vaccine against the Delta variant, which was spreading rapidly and taking over from the Alpha strain as the most dominant variant in Thailand.

The Department of Disease Control (DDC) defended the government’s decision to procure additional Sinovac vaccine doses despite criticism about its efficacy against Covid-19 variants.

Chawetsan Namwat, director of emergencies, health hazards and diseases at the DDC, said the decision to procure additional doses of the Chinese Sinovac was made due to its wide availability and price. The Sinovac vaccine was effective in reducing symptoms and lowering the chances of death, he said.

 

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