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Pressure mounts for effective boosters as fully vaccinated nurse dies of Covid-19



PHOTO: Steven Cornfield for Unsplash

The government is coming under increasing pressure to provide effective vaccine boosters to frontline medical staff, following the death of a nurse who’d received 2 doses of Sinovac. The Bangkok Post reports that the 30 year old nurse died a week after contracting Covid-19, despite being fully inoculated. Her cousin, Siwakorn Rattanakuntee, confirmed the death on Facebook, adding that the nurse became infected while working on an isolation ward.

“She had received 2 doses of vaccine that senior public health officials claim can reduce the severity of symptoms and lower mortality. My cousin died today, a week after being infected.”

Siwakorn is questioning the efficacy of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine, which has been widely administered to the country’s frontline healthcare workers. According to the Bangkok Post report, she is asking if her cousin might not have died if she’d been given a more effective vaccine.

The government has been heavily reliant on the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines, with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration insisting 2 doses of either vaccine are 90% effective at preventing serious illness. This is now being called into question, particularly in relation to the Sinovac vaccine. Over 600 healthcare workers who have received both doses of the Sinovac have gone on to contract Covid-19. It is not known if they have become infected with the highly contagious Delta variant, which studies have shown is resistant to Sinovac.

Thiravat Hemachudha from the Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University has joined the calls for healthcare workers to be given booster doses. He says the Sinovac vaccine has been shown to be most effective up to 30 days after the second dose. However, from then on, immunity begins to decline, eventually dropping to only 30 – 40%. Thiravat says the booster must be a different type of vaccine in order to protect healthcare workers who encounter Covid-19 variants in the course of their work.

“We’re not VIPs and we don’t have privileges. But it will help us carry on with our work and prevent us from infecting others.”

For information about Covid-19 insurance for Thailand residents, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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