Coronavirus (Covid-19)Thailand

So what’s the deal with the Sinopharm vaccine?

PHOTO: More about the newly-approved in Thailand Sinopharm vaccine. (via Wikimedia)

Sinopharm is Thailand’s hot new vaccine, having been approved by the Food and Drug Administration yesterday, so what information do we have about the Covid-19 vaccine? The vaccine has been approved by World Health Organisation for people above the age of 18 and is administered in the same way as Sinovac and AstraZeneca, with 2 jabs spaced 3 to 4 weeks apart. It is an inactivated Covid-19 vaccine, meaning it is made of virus particles that have been grown in culture and then killed so they are harmless to humans.

Developed by Sinopharm/China National Pharmaceutical Group, the vaccine was the first WHO-approved Asian vaccine for Covid-19 emergency use. Studies show it to be effective from 2 weeks after the second jab, preventing 79% of symptomatic Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Unfortunately, there is little data on how Sinopharm handles the mutant strains of Covid-19 that are now in Thailand and spreading throughout the world. The B.1.1.7 “UK” variant is responsible for Thailand’s third wave of Covid-19, accounting for 93% of all infections in Thailand. We don’t yet know how effective Sinopharm is on that variant, nor the Brazilian, Indian, and South African variants now found in Thailand.

Biogenetech Co. has been approved to import Sinopharm into Thailand and Chulabhorn Royal Academy surprised many by announcing they were importing the vaccine. Only the government is allowed to import vaccines into Thailand, but the academy later said they were working in partnership with the Public Health Ministry and the FDA.

The academy has vowed to sell Sinopharm vaccines at cost, estimating a price of about 1,000 baht per jab. They also plan to offer side-effect coverage with an insurance plan. They expect to have the first million vaccines by the end of next month. Several large corporations and organisations are already negotiating caches for their members, with PTT oil and gas conglomerate and the Federation of Thai Industries reserving their supplies now.

Sinopharm has been used already in several countries around the world, with China, Bahrain, Egypt, Hungary, Morocco, Peru, and the United Arab Emirates all adopting the vaccine. Dubai’s leader, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, was vaccinated with Sinopharm in November last year.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Neill Fronde

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.


  1. They want you to pay for a Chinese vaccine? Wow! As for Sinopharm, they just released the phase three test results. Problem is they only released the data from two of the five countries in the test. Strange to say the least. The 79% efficacy is only for symptomatic people. There is no claim for efficacy with asympomatic, serious or hospitalization. Again strange to say the least. Chile who uses the same vaccine claims it’s efficacy after just one dose is in the teens. The UAE is starting to give out a third dose since some people months after the second still don’t have antibodies.

  2. Living in semi-isolation has led to a lot of ordering in iof everything , a lot of which is coming from China…. and most of it crap. I can throw out a stationary bicycle after a bolt strips or upon opening weird smelling vitamins… but shooting Chinese Military crap into my body? No way .

  3. @EdwardV – And, on here at least, they are saying two jabs 3 to 4 weeks apart, yet they have just extended the Astra Zenica jab out to 16 weeks between jabs, sounds like more rubbish to me.

  4. If over 90 % of covid infections in Thailand are from the new strains then only order vaccines with datas that they can handle the new strains like Pfizer, Biontech, moderna, etc.! To bet on a horse you have no datas for that it would be really stupid and like gambling. Even a gambler would not bet on an unknown horse!

  5. This vaccine might not be very affective, but at the moment Thailand should use all they can acquire.
    Just over 2 percent vaccinated is a scandal.
    Use this vaccine. If it is only 10 percent it is better than no protection whatsoever.

  6. Variants have become the new `project fear` weapon of deceit. The UK government continues to spew out the `potential` negative affects of variants yet the vaccination program has remained resilient to them all. Average daily deaths are 8 and less than 1,000 people are now in hospital as a result of Covid. Cases are virtually irrelevant when they don’t result in hospitalizations and deaths.

  7. @EdwardV –

    Both the Russian and Chinese vaccines lack credible data with no reasonable explanation. Both have yet to have data from the third trial as they were rushed and used on their own citizens, probably as test subjects.

    Who’s approval of Sinopharm is worthless as they are the lapdogs of Xi. I would place Thailands FDA in the same boat for its recent approval.

  8. The article states “we don’t yet know how effective Sinopharm is … on the South African variant.” Look at the Seychelles. Big rise in cases of South African variant. 30% of which are people who have had both shots of Sinopharm.

  9. So all over the world we discuss the Brazilian, South African, UK, Indian variants and so forth…what’s the objection to calling the original strain the Wuhan or Chinese variant? We should be calling it what it is, no more mo less.

  10. the Chinese Communist Party has provided this vaccine to some countries to obtain political advantages in exchange, too bad that Chinese vaccines suck, in Chile and in the Seyshelles they have used it and now the contagion has increased like never before.
    The Chinese know how to copy and steal other people’s technologies but they are probably not as capable of inventing.

  11. “They want you to pay for a Chinese vaccine? Wow!”

    Probably aimed at companies, particularly im the tourist sector, who want all their staff vaccinated and can’t get Sinovac / AZ free from the government on time.

    Possibly rather more behind this than meets the eye …

  12. @Slugger – Once again Slugger (the Sucker) strikes out, spreading his own brand of Astra-Xenophobe hate jabs with every fake news post. Hard to stomach all the blatant biases here and the on again off again cries of fake medicine from nationalistic “Patriots” to be sure, but who knows better nation than Slugger, who shrouds in secrecy his own background for fear of being abused. BTW people, If the conspiracy theorists are correct- wouldn’t the Chinese know how to mitigate the virus best since the “reliable news” says it escaped from their Wuhan lab? How about this relevant spin story instead. Thai conglomerate companies like PTT are stock-piling and monopolizing the market, by buying up a higher quality vaccines that “the one” that’s currently available for most Thai citizens- to the tune of 2000 baht for a necessary double dose. So where does that put the average Thai in line for a chance at a “non-Western” vaccine (that has higher asymptomatic efficacy rate than Astra-Zenaca doses which the government claims they can get 12 shots instead of 10 per bottle, and which for some “unexplicable reason” are running short on, with no real reliable data, and no diffinitives outisde of what other countries claim due to a short supply being produced locally, while the situation goes from bad to worse? It’s called pay to play folks.

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