Connect with us

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai virologist says vaccinating 40 million Thais next year will be a challenge

Maya Taylor

Published 

 on 

Thai virologist says vaccinating 40 million Thais next year will be a challenge | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: National Cancer Institute
  • follow us in feedly

A prominent Thai virologist has admitted that vaccinating 60% of the population against Covid-19 next year will not be easy. Dr Yong Pooworavan says this is because 40 million people receiving 2 doses each means the country needs access to 80 million doses. Yesterday, it was confirmed that Thailand hopes to begin production and administration of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine in the first half of 2021.

However, Yong remains hopeful that the Covid-19 situation will improve in 2021 but adds that the virus will linger in the Kingdom for up to 2 years, before becoming more like a seasonal flu. His advice for people in Thailand is to continue with preventative measures such as mask-wearing, hand-washing, and social distancing, for at least another year.

Yong has also announced that doctors used plasma from a recovered Covid-19 patient to treat a Swiss national who was seriously ill with the virus while in state quarantine. It’s understood the man had developed pneumonia and was on a respirator, but following 10 days of the plasma treatment, his condition has improved.

Yong says the Thai Red Cross has around 600 bottles of plasma serum, which was donated by recovered patients and can be used to treat those who become seriously ill with the Covid-19 virus.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 11:01 am

    Very impressed (and slightly surprised) that Thailand has taken such precautions by having 600 bottles of plasma.

    Again, though, things could be better as Astra Zeneca are now reporting much improved results with one and a half doses (half a dose initially, followed by a full dose), so vaccinating 40 million people should only require 60 million doses, not 80 million, reducing the issue considerably.

    • Avatar

      RORY N KEELAN

      Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 12:33 pm

      I suspect the real issues will be organizational and logistical. Organizational because it requires two jabs approximately 30 days apart (not sure of the leeway either side) with careful records of who got what and when and logistical as it will need to be provided locally – an issue in rural areas.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 4:45 pm

        The logistics are far simpler with the AZ vaccine as at least it can be transported and stored at normal fridge temperature.

        … and actually “rural areas” are surprisingly well equipped to deal with the logistics of vaccinations and records at a local level – possibly better than urban areas, and certainly better than most of the West.

        Medical records are kept at a local level, as well as being on-line so instantly accessible cross-hospital and inter-province, and they already have an excellent system for vaccination and re-vaccination records, for example with tetanus where everyone in each sub-district gets a written reminder about their ten yearly tetanus re-vaccination (in their 10th, 20th, 30th, etc year) carried out once a year in the local clinic in the sub-district.

        Despite the nay-sayers and the outward appearance of some of the local clinics and hospitals, Thailand’s medical coverage is actually very good.

    • Avatar

      Ted

      Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 12:56 pm

      If, a try to be optimistic, then in that case; great! otherwise stop trying to be smart, as half dose is still 1 injection needed, i.e. a total of 80 million times. Or do you know how to do a half of a injection, then you are correct, and pardon me

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 4:28 pm

        Your comment about “trying to be smart” seems rather out of place if you read the article, since the issue apparently isn’t how many “injections” are needed but how many “doses” can be produced:

        “A prominent Thai virologist has admitted that vaccinating 60% of the population against Covid-19 next year will not be easy. Dr Yong Pooworavan says this is because 40 million people receiving 2 doses each means the country needs access to 80 million doses.”

        The problem, according to him, isn’t carrying out ” 1 injection … a total of 80 million times” but is “access to 80 million doses.”

        If you disagree, maybe you should take it up with him not me …..

  2. Avatar

    Maverick

    Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    If the requirement to fly and enter Thailand is vaccination card then only the elderly and vulnerable need to be vaccinated as well as Thais who want to travel Overseas the population is Covid free or has some immunity already and the fact we live outdoor lifestyles is a massive benefit

    • Avatar

      Mike Frenchie

      Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 1:33 pm

      Thailand – since it has very little COVID exposure – has virtually zero herd immunity. You have to vaccine virtually everybody since cases could spread much faster here than – let’s say – in Europe where herd immunity is above 30%.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 4:32 pm

        “… in Europe where herd immunity is above 30%.”

        According to who?

        This from the Lancet, last month:

        ” Furthermore, there is no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection, and the endemic transmission that would be the consequence of waning immunity would present a risk to vulnerable populations for the indefinite future.”

        • Avatar

          Don R

          Saturday, November 28, 2020 at 9:33 pm

          This sort of pseudoscientific claim is why so many people don’t trust medical experts anymore.

          It’s true that the antibodies wane after a certain number of months without exposure, but your t-cells remember how to produce the antibodies for much longer.

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    I don’t really understand your logic or your point.

    Despite the claims in some comments here, the virus doesn’t affect “only the elderly and vulnerable”.

    That’s a complete fallacy –
    it affects everyone in equal proportion, so if someone over 75 was twice as likely to die or fall ill than before due to Covid-19, so anyone aged 5 or 55 is also twice as likely to die or fall ill; if they’re three times as likely to die than before if they have cancer or diabetes, that applies in just the same way too.

    (“twice” and “three times” are purely hypothetical BTW)

    Saying “only the elderly and vulnerable need to be vaccinated” is like saying only women over 62 need to be checked for breast cancer as that’s the average (median) age.

    What’s the evidence for any “immunity”?
    AFAIK all the available evidence points to there being no indication of “herd immunity” at all.

    … and who lives “outdoor lifestyles”?

    Thais aren’t as obese as Europeans and Americans (yet), but diabetes is high and on the increase.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 5:33 pm

      Sorry, that was intended in reply to Maverick’s comment.

  4. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    Mmmm….. so how long does the immunity last?

    What risks did they take to get something to market in 1 year instead of 5. .

    History is littered with horrific consequences from rushed vaccines. One bad vaccine creates government mistrust

  5. Avatar

    Jack Sombra

    Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    Its going to more difficult than he thinks considering Thailand has only ordered enough for 18 million. In short, there is no plan to vaccinate everyone, just those at risk.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 6:03 pm

      While the formerer is correct, what evidence do you have of the latter?

      The initial order is based on what can be produced by AZ, which is around 15 million doses a month which are to be distributed around ASEAN. Attempting to buy up all the stock in advance at the expense of poorer countries may be the way in the West, but I’m glad to say it isn’t here nor is it AZ policy.

  6. Avatar

    AI

    Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    A vaccine because what percentage of the world have apparently died from it? A vaccine without any information about it’s contents? Aborted fetal tissue anyone? Don’t vaccines have to be tested for 8 years or longer? And where is the sample of the so called con-vid virus coming from? (It hasn’t even been isolated yet, for gawdsakes……) Anybody heard that this year’s ‘flu’ has been wiped out because of……(you guessed it! CON-VID! LMAO! 555!) Still don’t believe it check here – “Has Covid killed off the flu? Experts pose the intriguing question as influenza cases nosedive by 98% across the globe”.
    And as other posters have said, if you wish to get this “stuff” injected into your blood stream, please feel free and help yourselves! And if you do, you really should do some research in the company dishing it out, to check out what the liabilites are. (If any).
    So, go on, STEP RIGHT UP! ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVE! Kill-Bill Gates is happily smirking as you do….

  7. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Friday, November 27, 2020 at 1:14 am

    It’s being reported in the main stream news that AZ screwed up their test. Seems they gave the smaller dose to the group who was suppose to get the larger one. Seems the groups are not random, the set it is by design. Once they publish the documents the powers that review these things will have a better idea if it’s a big deal or not. Most of the talking heads say at least it’s going to talk longer to review before acceptance, at worse they will have to redo the test setting them back several months.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 in Thailand not a cause for concern – WHO, John Hopkins University

Maya Taylor

Published

on

Covid-19 in Thailand not a cause for concern – WHO, John Hopkins University | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

A top medic in Thailand says data from the World Health Organisation and John Hopkins University indicates that the Covid-19 situation in the Kingdom is not currently a cause for concern. Mondej Sookpranee, a specialist in infectious diseases at MedPark Hospital in Bangkok, says both the WHO and John Hopkins have evaluated the situation in Thailand.

“Both organisations have evaluated Thailand in ‘not high burden and not growing’ countries, thanks to people’s co-operation to contain the spread of the virus.” He adds that everyone in the country should continue to adhere to Covid-19 safety measures.

Thailand recorded 7,025 cases of Covid-19 between December 14 and January 14, with the average number over 24 hours being 271, according to WHO data. This equates to an infection rate of 10.2% or 0.4% over 24 hours, per 100,000 people.

John Hopkins has recorded the number of cases in the last 30 days as 7,189, with a 24 hour average of 459. This equates to an infection rate of 10.4% per 100,000 people, or 0.7% over 24 hours.

28 Thai provinces remain under “highly controlled” restrictions after the virus resurfaced in the Kingdom last month, with the first outbreak recorded at a seafood market in the central province of Samut Sakhon. The outbreak is thought to have been caused by the illegal smuggling of migrant workers, who were trafficked into the country without undergoing mandatory quarantine. The outbreak has since spread to more than 60 provinces. Clusters of cases have also been linked to illegal gambling dens.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand’s tourism in the Covid 2021 era

The Thaiger

Published

on

Thailand’s tourism in the Covid 2021 era | The Thaiger

OPINION by Andrew J Wood

Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine this week for emergency use in the country. Two private hospitals are also ordering millions of doses of coronavirus vaccines ahead of this regulatory approval. This is in addition to the government’s order of 63 million doses from two main sources as Thailand rushes to implement vaccinations for the majority of its population.

With regard to it’s non-Thai residents it is still unclear if this includes the substantial expat community or whether they will be excluded, as the country tackles a second wave of the virus.

The future of travel in Thailand is to open borders while mitigating the risk. This can be achieved by ensuring illegal border crossings are tightly controlled and all travellers tested. Tourists arriving should not only be tested showing they are free from covid, but to avoid quarantine, must also have been vaccinated. The numbers will be small to start with but the industry is at a complete standstill. I have never experienced anything close to the devastating effects of the coronavirus.

The tourism industry has ground to a halt and is currently battling a spate of infections brought about by poor Burmese workers searching for work and sneaking across the border and spreading infections before restrictions were put in place. As a counter measure to reduce the spread the government has restricted everyone from high risk areas from travelling freely around the country. Putting a firm brake on domestic tourism in addition to international arrivals.

The introduction of colour-coded zones has been put in place since a major outbreak occurred in Samut Sakhon at a seafood market with illegal Burmese migrant workers. In addition to restricted domestic travel an amnesty for the illegal entrants has been offered by the Thai government in a serious effort to reduce infections and have all illegal migrants registered and tested.

Qantas is also toying with requiring vaccinations and was the first airline to announce it will require international passengers to be vaccinated. Singapore is also considering relaxing its quarantine rules for vaccinated travellers if clinical trials show vaccines lower transmission risks. (However short-term visitors will need to show evidence of insurance to cover medical treatment and returning Singapore citizens from Britain and South Africa will be subject to additional restrictions).

Until there’s an abundance of approved and delivered vaccines, it’s all but impossible for anyone outside government to get a shot. However there will be a market driven by those with money to jump queues as we saw recently. Once the UK approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, travel agents in India started seeing an increase for quick vaccination trips to the U.K. Attention is now on the US and Russia as possible vaccine destinations.

But it’s not all about money. In Thailand according to a Reuters report, a million doses of the Sinovac vaccine has been ordered by the Thonburi Healthcare Group, with an option to buy 9 million more. The hospital group plans to use half to inoculate staff in its network of 40 hospitals.

The Thai government has separately ordered 2 million doses from China’s Sinovac Biotech and expects delivery of 200,000 doses with plans to inoculate frontline workers and medical professionals in high-risk areas next month.

The government has also ordered 61 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which will be produced by local firm Siam Bioscience for domestic use and export.

For patients, Thonburi’s medical centres plan to offer 2 vaccine injections for 3,200 baht ($106) and say they cannot take a profit because it is a humanitarian issue for the country.

However it is claimed that rich nations are stockpiling the most promising coronavirus vaccines, and people in poorer nations could miss out as a result. Campaigners are urging pharma companies to share technology so more doses can be made.

Just 1 in 10 people in dozens of poor countries will be able to get vaccinated against the coronavirus because wealthy countries have hoarded more doses than they need, said the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coalition including Oxfam, Amnesty International and Global Justice Now.

They claim that rich nations have bought 54% of the total stock of the world’s most promising vaccines, despite being home to just 14% of the global population, said the Alliance.

Those wealthy nations have purchased enough doses to vaccinate their entire populations three times over by the end of 2021 if the vaccine candidates currently in clinical trials are approved for use.

The head of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warns that the world is on the brink of a “catastrophic moral failure” over Covid-19 vaccine distribution, he urges countries and manufacturers to share doses more fairly across countries. Mr. Ghebreyesus said this week that prospects for equitable distribution are at serious risk. “Ultimately these actions will only prolong the pandemic.”

Safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines mean that life, including travel, are likely to get back to normal one day. Assuming that vaccines also protect against most virus mutations as well as against spreading the virus, Covid restrictions should end once *herd immunity is achieved. The whole world needs immunity, and achieving that in 2021 is unlikely.

Herd immunity is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through vaccination or previous infections, reducing the likelihood of infection for individuals who lack immunity.

Not all businesses have been forced to close down but widespread financial uncertainty means the tourism industry has struggled over the last year. It is grim, however I think even if we get a small fraction of the 39 million tourists of 2019 we can survive and prosper.

The short term goal is survival and then to start to thrive in the ‘new world’ of tourism. Getting back ALL that was lost is not realistic or achievable nor should it be a goal.

Our focus on combating the virus and providing relief to our tourism industry should be the goal of all travel and tourism associations here in Thailand. Unity and leadership is so desperately needed if we are to look forward to recovery including the introduction of stimulus measures.

Accelerating the distribution of vaccines is the key to getting travel back to normal, and to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

For many travel business owners and hoteliers the challenges are to ensure a positive cash flow and GOP (a company’s profit from selling goods or services in a particular period before costs not directly related to producing them). Any asset value increases would be welcome but unlikely just now as property prices are currently turning south. Property maintenance and equipment replacement will be a real challenge in the future as Return On Investment fall short.

Government assistance on tax and payroll would be really helpful at this juncture but our industry is so fragmented and ‘unorganised’ in a collective sense. Governments consider hospitality and service industries in general as good employees of the grey areas of the workforce, that have a way of “sorting themselves out” with little need for government help.

Any cries for help are often ignored as the political will is simply not there. Our voice is drowned out by louder more organised industries that offer opportunities of jobs and local investment.

The tourism industry is called an invisible export…

However government grants and loans to small businesses are essential, the economic hardships of the pandemic will persist, so it is important that struggling businesses receive assistance to maintain operations and keep workers on payrolls.

Travel will play a vital role in Thailand’s economic recovery in the months ahead, but businesses will need lifelines by the government to survive until regular travel can fully resume.

Also a key lesson I see from other industries is that they be able to adapt quickly, look at noodle sellers here in Bangkok. Lines of Grab Bikes delivering take away food — changes are happening overnight and there’s no time for long deliberations and discussions. Those that can react quickly to these big shifts in consumer demands and priorities are going to come out on top.

As to jumping on a plane anytime soon, well that appears most unlikely. My birth country the UK, according to it’s current rules, once the lockdown is over, Brits could legally go on holiday abroad if they live in tiers one or two. However, holidays are effectively off the cards for the UK until at least April 2021.

As for Thailand our seven steps to navigate before anyone may be granted permission to enter, greatly impact the process of entering the country.

The ASEAN Tourism Association warned last week that 70% of travel agents in Thailand would cease to operate this year if the Thai government did not step in with assistance.

It is clear the second round of the Covid-19 epidemic has severely affected faith in the future inbound tourism industry, many agents have to decide to either suspend or close operations. The Thai government has not offered the private sector any substantial assistance, short or long term. There is considerable confusion about whether to invest in keeping a business going or whether to close. The government must be clear in its policy to help or not help the travel industry.

ANDREW J WOOD

Andrew J Wood was born in Yorkshire England, he is a professional hotelier, Skalleague and travel writer. Andrew has 48 years of hospitality and travel experience. He is a hotel graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh. Andrew is a past Director of Skål International (SI), National President SI Thailand and is currently President of SI Bangkok and a VP of both SI Thailand and SI Asia. He is a regular guest lecturer at various Universities in Thailand including Assumption University’s Hospitality School and the Japan Hotel School in Tokyo.

The content of this article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of The Thaiger.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Thailand

Research shows home-learning causes 50% drop in mathematical ability among Thai students

Maya Taylor

Published

on

Research shows home-learning causes 50% drop in mathematical ability among Thai students | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Research shows that online learning causes a 50% drop in mathematical comprehension, and a 30% drop in reading literacy among Thai students. Research presented by the government’s Equitable Education Fund indicates that months of home-learning cannot match in-school study and in fact, can cause a deterioration in students’ ability. With schools currently closed in 28 Thai provinces, thousands of children across the country are participating in online learning.

According to a Nation Thailand report, Pumsaran Tongliemnak from the EEF says home-schooling with the use of screens also has a negative effect on students’ mental health and their social and emotional development. The research, carried out by the Northwest Evaluation Association, echoes a study done by Massachusetts’ Institute of Technology, which demonstrates that learning through technology is no match for the classroom. Home schooling has been shown to contribute to a decline in knowledge, as well as affecting access to quality nutrition, age-appropriate learning, and social experiences.

Pumsaran says inequality in Thai education is already evident among those who fall out of the education system, as well as the decline in learning and health development among disadvantaged children, those with disabilities or with special educational needs, and those living in remote parts of the country. He says online learning will only serve to widen the gap between rural children and those in the city by about 2 years, potentially leading to economic disparity and fueling a cycle of poverty for generations.

His colleague Kraiyos Patrawart says prior to Covid-19, inequality in education had improved in the last 3 years, in terms of absenteeism among the more disadvantaged students. But over 143,000 children living in poverty in the 28 “highly controlled” provinces, may end up missing 2 school semesters, equating to 40% of the school year.

“The biggest concern is children’s learning development and growth. We should make the most of the remaining 3 months (of the academic year) if schools can open as normal, with teachers checking students’ health and learning, running after-school programmes, and monitoring the gap of classes for children in remote areas.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | The Thaiger
Thailand19 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | The Thaiger
Thailand4 days ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | The Thaiger
Thailand5 days ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand6 days ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand7 days ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6

Thailand News Today | PM reverses lockdown, Southern P.D.A. crackdown, Covid update | Jan 5 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | PM reverses lockdown, Southern P.D.A. crackdown, Covid update | Jan 5

Thailand News Today | Record daily infections, Covid restrictions, British arrivals ‘on hold’ | Jan 4 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Record daily infections, Covid restrictions, British arrivals ‘on hold’ | Jan 4

Thailand News Today | Pattaya restrictions, 2021’s extra holidays, Covid update | December 30 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Pattaya restrictions, 2021’s extra holidays, Covid update | December 30

Thailand News Today | Covid update, Bangkok restrictions, Gold rush | December 29 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Covid update, Bangkok restrictions, Gold rush | December 29

Thailand News Today | No national lockdown, Bangkok schools closed, Abortion Bill | Dec 24 | The Thaiger
Thailand4 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | No national lockdown, Bangkok schools closed, Abortion Bill | Dec 24

Thailand News Today | Covid outbreak update, migrant workers ‘dumped’, Phuket’s fake cases | Dec 23 | The Thaiger
Thailand4 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Covid outbreak update, migrant workers ‘dumped’, Phuket’s fake cases | Dec 23

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending