Thailand buys 5 mln doses of Moderna coronavirus vaccine

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Vial labelled "Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine" placed on displayed Moderna logo is seen in this illustration picture taken March 24, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

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BANGKOK, June 30 (Reuters) - Thailand said on Wednesday it would import nearly four million doses of Moderna's (MRNA.O) mRNA coronavirus vaccine towards the end of this year and a further one million in early 2022, for use by private hospitals.

Thailand's vaccinations strategy so far has relied heavily on the viral vector vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca (AZN.L) and Sinovac Biotech's (SVA.O) inactivated COVID-19 vaccine.

The Government Pharmaceutical Organization in a statement said 3.9 million doses of the Moderna vaccine would be delivered in the fourth quarter and 1.1 million doses in the first quarter of 2022.

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The announcement comes as the Infectious Disease Association of Thailand (IDAT) urged Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to secure more mRNA vaccines to better contain the outbreak.

"The vaccine procurement plan of 150 million doses has a high proportion of Sinovac," the association said in a letter to Prayuth, citing that mRNA vaccines had a higher efficacy rate than that of Sinovac.

Thailand has also ordered five million doses of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) vaccines and 20 million doses of the mRNA vaccine developed by Pfizer (PFE.N) and BioNTech (22UAy.DE).

Thailand on Wednesday reported a new daily record of 53 coronavirus deaths, and 4,786 new infections.

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Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Chayut Setboonsarng, Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Martin Petty

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