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AstraZeneca-Pfizer mixed vaccination to debut in October

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: A new plan launches in October to mix 1 shot of AstraZeneca and 1 of Pfizer (via Clinical Trials Arena)

In the battle to get access to high-quality vaccines in Thailand, October is set to see an upgrade with the initiation of administering a mix of AstraZeneca and Pfizer doses for patients. The deputy director-general of the Disease Control Department said today Thailand will receive about 10 million Pfizer vaccines arriving each month beginning in October.

The government now plans to supplement the first dose of domestically-produced AstraZeneca with a second dose of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine 1 to 3 months later. While mixing vaccine brands is still controversial with less data on efficacy and safety, many agree that the AstraZeneca-Pfizer combination is a step up from the current mixture of Sinovac and AstraZeneca commonly in use in Thailand today.

Mixing vaccines received a recommendation from the Medical and Health Emergency Operations Centre on August 25 saying that the decision was based on research in Thailand and abroad with new data indicated that mixing vaccines is safe and effective. The plan is to administer one of the two vaccine mix and match combinations, either Sinovac and AstraZeneca or AstraZeneca and Pfizer, to eligible recipients over the age of 18.

The Disease Control Department also said that either Pfizer or AstraZeneca will be used as a booster shot given to patients who are unvaccinated and fell ill with Covid-19 within 1 to 3 months from the booster shot date. The booster will be given to Covid-19 patients that have not already been vaccinated or who were infected with Covid-19 within two weeks of being vaccinated before the vaccine would become effective.

Health authorities fear that with the emergence of the Delta variant the goal of achieving herd immunity by reaching a 70% vaccination rate in Thailand before the end of 2021 may not be attainable anymore.

Vaccine procurement seems to finally be accelerating though, as the Thai government expect to see 8 to 10 million Pfizer vaccine each month between October and December and 6 million Sinovac vaccines by the end of the year. They also predict 7 to 8 million AstraZeneca vaccines in September, 10 million more in October, and 13 million vaccines in November and again in December. If the prediction is realized, it would result in 60 to 67 million vaccines arriving in Thailand by the end of 2021.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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