Further updated: Lucky pricing, unlikely dealer

12 06 2021

According to several reports, the Chulabhorn Royal Academy has set the price of the Covid-19 vaccine procured from China’s state-owned Sinopharm at 888 baht per dose…”.

While the “Academy” secretary-general Nithi Mahanonda claimed the “price includes transport, storage and insurance against side effects of the vaccine.” So how amazing is it that all of that came to the lucky number 888!

It seems that the “Royal Academy” has become just another vaccine dealer in an increasingly privatized vaccine rollout.Princess plaything

It is offering “state or private organisations that want the Sinopharm vaccine from the CRA must be capable of providing it to groups of people who want alternative vaccines — including staff, family members and migrant workers.” But they cannot “use the vaccine for commercial gain.”

Remarkably, the Äcademy” claims the power to fine “violators.” Who knew?

It also seemed to demand that “[s]tate or private organisations provided with the vaccine by the CRA should also do society a favour by donating 10% of the vaccine to underprivileged groups.” But not the “Academy.” More, the buyers had to “find hospitals to administer the vaccine.” The hospitals can “collect service charges from such organisations, but not from vaccine recipients…”.

How much does the Sinopharm vaccine cost? Early on, it was remarkably expensive. A few months later, Hungary was paying $36 per dose or $72 for a course of two shots. Perhaps the “Academy” is getting Sri Lankan or Bangladesh prices?

As usual with matters royal, there’s no transparency, even when they are engaged in commercial activities. All they say is the vaccine is supplied at cost. Magically, that is 888 baht.

As The Nation reports, the dealing is expanding, and after the “first batch of 1 million Sinopharm vaccine doses [arrive] on June 20-21,” the “Academy” has “plans to import a total of 5-6 million doses of Sinopharm in batches every 10 days.”

One thing is sure, the regime is unable to meet current demand, but is the “Academy” simply replacing the delayed AstraZeneca vaccine from another royal enterprise?

Update 1: On vaccine shortages, see two stories in the Bangkok Post, here and here.

Update 2:For more on vaccine shortages, see here and here, and for more on the state’s “fake news” on these shortages, see here. As Thai Enquirer has it:

On June 7, coup leader Prayut Chan-o-cha flanked by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and members of his Covid-19 management team declared that there would be no delays in the distribution of the vaccines.

Just over a week later, that promise has fallen flat on its face.


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