Bangkok health officials to roll out Sinovac/AstraZeneca vaccine cocktail

PHOTO: Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration

From next Tuesday, health officials in Bangkok will replace 2 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine with 1 dose of Sinovac, followed by a dose of AstraZeneca. According to a Nation Thailand report, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration says the policy is in line with guidelines for the dark red provinces, issued by the Public Health Ministry.

The reason for the policy shift is that the gap between both vaccine doses is just 3 weeks, as opposed to the 12-week gap required between 2 doses of AstraZeneca. It’s hoped the shorter gap will boost immunity quicker, thereby allowing the country and economy in the dark red provinces to recover.

Meanwhile, the government has also approved a 4.25 billion baht budget to purchase another 12 million doses of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine in order to carry out the mix-and-match vaccination programme. The doses are expected to arrive this month or next. The Sinovac vaccine has been plagued by criticism both within and beyond Thailand, with the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok forced to issue a statement condemning the criticism.

In related news, the Pfizer vaccine is also expected to be rolled out to some students in Bangkok from September 21. In order to qualify, students will need to provide confirmation from a doctor that they have a disability, illness, or chronic condition, or that they are obese. Meanwhile, Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration is considering approving a second Chinese vaccine – Sinopharm – for use in children over the age of 3.

According to the BMA, nearly 10 million vaccine doses have now been administered in the capital.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Maya Taylor

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