Thai man brought his own J&J dose to a clinic, now health officials aren’t happy

A man sits for an injection in a file photo. Photo: Sa Kaeo Provincial Health Office / Facebook
A man sits for an injection in a file photo. Photo: Sa Kaeo Provincial Health Office / Facebook

Health officials in the eastern province of Sa Keao are looking for a man who strolled into a clinic with what he said was a dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine – something not publicly available in Thailand. 

Provincial health doyen Prapas Pookduang said they are investigating after the clinic agreed last month to put it into his arm for the low, low cost of THB2,800 (US$85).

The incident only came to light after it was called out as possibly illegal by an online personality who works in the medical industry.

Officials suspect the man got the vaccine from just across the border in Cambodia, where the United States donated more than a million doses at the end of July. 

They worry the vaccine, without proper handling and refrigeration, might have been spoiled and potentially harmful. 

Paisarn Dankoom, secretary of the Food and Drug Administration, said the only registered source of the one-dose vaccine is Janssen-Cilag (Thailand) Ltd. While the vaccine has been approved for use, its only known importation has been by the French embassy for use by its citizens.

The vaccines provided by the government are Sinovac, Sinopharm, AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna. The first batch of 560,000 Moderna doses just arrived Nov. 1.

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