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Dr Yong says hurrying for a fourth vaccine is wasteful

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Dr Yong says racing for a fourth vaccine is wasteful and 3 to 6 months should pass after your third dose. (via Wikimedia)

Dr Yong Poovorwan is almost always the go-to person for explanations and opinions about Covid-19 as Thailand’s top virologist. And now he is saying that it would be wasteful for people in Thailand to race to get a fourth vaccine as many places are discussing and launching second booster programs.

As the head of the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at the Faculty of Medicine of Chulalongkorn University, Dr Yong is often asked to comment about the Covid-19 situation, from new variants to vaccination advice. And now, after recently stressing the importance of having a third vaccine as a booster shot, he is taking to Facebook today, telling people that a fourth vaccine is an unnecessary overkill in many situations.

He explained the wastefulness of hurrying to get a second booster shot by drawing a comparison to a bowl of water. He said each of the two original vaccine doses fills the bowl significantly, and the third booster shot provides enough water to fill the bowl completely. After the bowl is full, adding a fourth booster shot or any number of extra vaccines will only waste the water that will spill over the sides of the full container.

But he said, continuing the water bowl analogy, if you wait a while and allow some of the water to evaporate, then there is space again in the bowl for another vaccine to top it off again. To that effect, a fourth vaccine should be administered at least 3 months after a third dose, and at least 6 months afterwards if the third dose was an mRNA vaccine.

He did reassure people that it is not possible to overdose on excessive vaccines, but Dr Yong warned against maxing out as vaccines can bring unwanted side effects after receiving questions on his Facebook page from people who had received as many as 5 vaccines. Some people have pushed to get a fifth vaccine, reckoning that the original 2 Sinovac doses they received were considered fairly useless with the rise of the Delta variant and should be discounted.

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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