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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai Health Ministry insists Chinese vaccine is effective, despite social media claims

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Thai Government Public Relations Department

Thailand’s Public Health Ministry insists the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Chinese firm Sinovac, is effective in protecting recipients against the virus. Dr. Supakit Sirilak from the Department of Medical Science was responding to a claim on social media from a man who says he took a rapid test after receiving the CoronaVac vaccine and it showed he’d developed no immunity whatsoever. Supakit says rapid tests would not pick up on immunity levels and that vaccinated people who want to check they’re protected should only do so through standard laboratory tests.

“The immunity develops 2 weeks after you have had your shots. However, the level of immunity differs based on the virus variants. I am not surprised to see that the rapid test could not detect the immunity because it couldn’t reach the point where the immunity is found, which is spike protein. It needs to be done under standard laboratory conditions with a proven method.”

According to a report in the Bangkok Post, Supakit says he himself received the Chinese vaccine in February and developed immunity 2 weeks later. He adds that the Sinovac jab offers a level of immunity of 114 against the original Covid-19 strain, but that drops to less than half against the mutated strain now spreading in Thailand.

Further research into CoronaVac’s efficacy in Chile indicates a near 48% increase in immunity 14 days after the second dose has been administered, but that increases to over 95% after 70 days. According to the Chilean research, the vaccine is 67% effective against symptomatic infection and 80% effective at preventing death.

Meanwhile, Opas Karnkawinpong from Thailand’s Department of Disease Control says he’s confident case numbers will begin to drop over the next 2 weeks, if people adhere to the government’s disease prevention measures, which include a ban on mass gatherings. Pubs, clubs, and other nightlife venues around the country have also been ordered to close, with a ban on the sale of alcohol in restaurants.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Slugger

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 12:08 pm

    Yawn. These people would be better employed reassuring people than causing panic over nothing and giving them a voice doesn’t help either.

  2. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 12:29 pm

    “According to the Chilean research, the vaccine is 67% effective against symptomatic infection and 80% effective at preventing death.”

    That’s a LOT less than previously claimed and a LOT less than other vaccines around, including even AZ.

    Still having a 20% chance of dying from Covid compared to someone who’s not vaccinated is hardly going to inspire confidence amongst those who are vulnerable.

  3. Avatar

    Rasputin

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    Even the Chinese government were admitting there were major problems with the vaccines published performance, personally I wouldn’t take it BUT it’s better than no vaccine at all.

  4. Avatar

    Frank

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    What to believe from this minister, telling we the cause and we dirty what is a lie as well.. I have really ZERO respect for this clown

  5. Avatar

    Ray

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    Can someone explain to me how a rapid test for covid or any test, demonstrates in any way that immunity has developed from a vaccine? As I understand it the test is testing for the virus or particles thereof. So how do you assess a vaccine result by a test for the virus? I get the vaccine may introduce some virus particles to trigger the immune response. Which is antibodies or T Killer cells that will kill the virus. But how is a test for having the infection in any way measuring ones immunity from it? Perplexed? Equally so as to why the good Dr did not explain that?

  6. Avatar

    Wilko

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    the Media is misrepresenting this 50%.

    It was one particular group of healthcare professionals with mild symptoms.

    In general it is 74 to 100% effective.
    One has to wonder at the motivation for this misrepresentation

  7. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    Even the Chinese are having to be convinced to take their own vaccines…they are offering coupons, free eggs…and all kinds of stuff because 1) many believe the problem is over, but 2) more and more people are questioning how good the vaccine can be if it was created so quickly.

    I don’t want a Chinese vaccine. No thank you.

  8. Avatar

    Gosport

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 5:18 pm

    Small Simon, the figures are from Chile where the variants are rampant. Considering this and no related death report, the vaccine is much better than others which could cause death before the virus catches you.

  9. Avatar

    Beavis

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    The China vax efficacy can only be properly determined by officers who are equipped with the GT200 detectors. Fortunately, Thailand still has plenty of GT200 detectors available.

  10. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 8:03 pm

    “Perplexed? Equally so as to why the good Dr did not explain that?”

    He did in the version I’ve got, @Ray.

    Maybe there are different versions, though, as I can’t see any reference to Wilko’s “50%” in the article anywhere.

    Sorry, @Gosport, but you’ve lost me completely.

    How could Chile have said the vaccine was “80% effective at preventing death” if they had “no related death report”?
    If Chile had had “no related death report” then wouldn’t it have been 100% effective?

    Are you talking about the maybe one in a million chance of getting a fatal blood clot if I were a youngish woman (I’m not, BTW)?

  11. Avatar

    Leo Z

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    @Gosport, “the vaccine is NOT much better than others which could cause death before the virus catches you”. Even the director of the Chinese CDC came out last week and stated the Chinese vaccines don’t offer a lot of protection and they’ll start looking at adopting the mRNA technology.

    The only question I have is why guys like you become wumaos at every opportunity.

  12. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 5:49 am

    Chile to their horror has found the Chinese vaccine is only 16% effective after the first dose. They were planning on a longer span between doses in order to increase the number of those vaccinated. They are now in the middle of a huge outbreak which includes a large number of partially vaccinated citizens. Ouch

  13. Avatar

    Ben

    Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 6:52 am

    They hitched themselves to the Chinese vaccine wagon and now have no choice but to defend it. Thai culture is about face and not losing it. Admitting they made a mistake betting on Chinese vaccines is not acceptable.

    If they had bet on Moderna and Pfizer they would be boasting about their great achievement now.

    They did a great job managing the pandemic and a lousy job managing vaccine acquisition.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket red zone list adds Krabi, Trang, Ranong, Phatthalung

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: The Phuket checkpoint now lists 25 provinces as a red zone.

Visitors to Phuket from Krabi, Trang, Ranong, and Phatthalung will now have to prove they’re vaccinated or have a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival, as they’ve been added to the red zone province list. People entering without those qualifications will have to take a rapid antigen test on the spot before being allowed into Phuket.

The 4 provinces join a group of 21 other provinces already on the Phuket red zone list requiring strict measures to enter. That list even includes Phuket itself, as people do exit the province have to prove a negative test or vaccination before being allowed to re-enter.

Phuket’s vice governor made the announcement yesterday after the governor signed the order and put it into effect until at least May 15th. That same order requires all trucks transporting goods to travel from 11 pm to 5 am, the nighttime hours that other people are not allowed to enter the island. Phuket recently closed its entry checkpoints from late night to early morning after reports of exhaustion from the health officials working to test everyone or verify their credentials.

Delivery drivers will also have to pass the same requirements as red zone province arrivals before entering Phuket. Any driver who does not have a negative test within 72 hours or proof that they’ve received both doses of a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration, will be forced to wait until the regular checkpoint opens at 5 am to receive a rapid antigen test.

Over 40,000 people from red zones have now been tested at the checkpoint to enter Phuket. In the first week of the requirement which began on April 22, health officials tested more than 22,000 people, overwhelming staff and prompting the government to close the entrance from 11 pm to 5 am to give checkpoint workers a break.

The 25 provinces currently classified as a red zone for entering Phuket are as follows:

Bangkok Nakhon Pathom Pathum Thani Rayong Suphan Buri
Chiang Mai Nakhon Ratchasima Phatthalung Sa Kaeo Surat Thani
Chonburi Nakhon Sri Thammarat Phuket Samut Prakan Tak
Khon Kaen Narathiwat Prachuap Khiri Khan Samut Sakhon Trang
Krabi Nonthaburi Ranong Songkhla Udon Thani

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

BMA admits Covid virus spreading fast in Bangkok, speeds up testing and jabs

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Stock photo via Flickr

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration says it is speeding up mass Covid-19 testing and inoculations in communities hit strongly by the virus, after admitting the virus is spreading fast in Thailand’s capital.

The city clerk says the administration, along with the Public Health Ministry and other agencies, are speeding up the collection of nasal swabs for Covid-19 tests, with a plan to test 3,000 people in high-risk groups per day. Those people deemed to be at an increased risk of the virus have been clustered by districts, with testing units in each of the 6 districts…

Laksi district, 70 Pansa Min Buri park in Min Buri district, Huai Khwang stadium in Huai Khwang district, under the Rama III expressway in Yannawa district, a public park under Rama VIII bridge in Bang Phlad district and The Mall Bangkae shopping centre in Bang Kae district.

The virus has been found in densely populated, low-income areas such as the Klong Toey community in Klong Toey district, Bon Kai community in Pathumwan district and Ban Khing community and The Mall Bangkae in Bang Kae district. In an effort to help those residents stay at home to prevent the possible spreading of the coronavirus, community-level organisations are teaming up to provide food, water, and supplements to those in the areas.

But stay at home orders are a problem for many as starvation is more frightening than the virus and 90% of residents in the slum communities still need to leave for work each day to keep food on the table. The daily average income for those in the slums is around 120 to 150 baht. The CCSA yesterday declared that is is focusing on containing major Covid clusters in 3 key Bangkok communities – the Klong Toey ‘slums’, Bon Kai in Pathumwan and Ban Khing in the Bang Kae district, on the west side of the Chao Phraya.

Today’s nationwide Covid update includes compiling the regional totals from yesterday, with a total of 27 new Covid-related deaths and 2,044 new Covid-19 infections over the past 24 hours. The numbers continue a statistically consistent rise in the number of Covid infections over the past 2 weeks.

Meanwhile, talking about Phuket’s plans to open in July, the Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, said yesterday that the number of new cases on the island must reach zero before the government can contemplate the ‘Sandbox’ plan for no-quarantine travel.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket visitor Covid-19 rapid antigen testing may end May 15

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Covid-19 rapid tests may be discontinued in Phuket. (via Wikimedia)

In a live broadcast, Phuket’s Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong said officials will consider discontinuing Covid-19 rapid antigen testing for people arriving into Phuket after May 15. The interview from the Phuket Check Point at Tha Chatchai yesterday seems to contradict a recent statement from the governor launching additional rapid testing from today.

Entry to Phuket since April 22 has been limited for travellers from red zone provinces, requiring proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test within the last 72 hours. Anyone arriving without either of these would be screened on the spot with rapid antigen tests. Though originally offered for 300 baht per person, controversy arose over Thailand’s 2-tier pricing as it was announced that testing would be free for Thai people and 500 baht for foreigners.

The National Health Security Office provided 40 billion baht for testing in Phuket, allowing free testing for nationals, but as that funding is used up, Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew announced that the testing will no longer be free for Thai people after May 15. Phuket does not have the budget for free rapid antigen testing so they will likely be forced to require payment after that date.

The current testing has seen a decline in positive Covid-19 infections, not finding any new cases for several days, prompting the government to rethink whether the current system of rapid testing those who are not vaccinated or holding a recent negative test certificate is worth the money spent.

Over 40,000 people have been tested since the program began April 22 until the current figures on May 5, with only 22 covid infections identified. Furthermore, 5 of those infections turned out to be false positives.

The vice-governor conceded that Phuket has Covid-19 outbreak problems with growing infections every day, but explains that the infections are from within the community and not from outside visitors. The latest infections stem in large part from gambling get-togethers without proper Covid-19 safety.

As of now, the rapid antigen testing will continue until the May 15 cut off, but government officials are still debating whether to continue testing and whether funding will exist for it after that date.

The NHSO has recently hinted that they will approve more funds to continue testing, a signal that had not been received before the governor’s announcement on Wednesday about the rapid antigen testing.

The vice-governor stressed that the situation is constantly evolving and that new information it’s shared frequently, and often out of local control. He urges everyone to pay attention to forthcoming announcements.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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