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Virologist urges government to carry out mass vaccination within 3 months

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Flickr

Prominent Thai virologist Dr. Yong Poovorawan is calling on the government to carry out mass vaccination of the population within 3 months, after a study showed that 1 dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine boosts immunity by more than 96%. Dr. Yong has been a persistent critic of the Thai government’s handling of the Covid outbreaks in the country.

Posting on his Facebook page, Yong cited a recent study conducted on Thai people who received a single AstraZeneca dose concluded their immunity was improved by 96.7%, compared to unvaccinated people. Furthermore, former Covid-19 patients who recovered between 4 and 8 weeks prior to being tested showed an improvement in immunity of more than 92%.

According to the Bangkok Post, 61 people took part in the study over a 1-month period from when they received their first vaccine dose. Higher levels of immunity were reported in individuals under the age of 60, with Yong pointing out that immunity increases further and lasts longer following a second dose of the vaccine.

“Therefore, the government should administer the first shot of AstraZeneca vaccine to as many people as possible, or 10 million people each month in the first 3 months of mass vaccination.”

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, says officials are ready to approve the registration of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine after meeting with representatives of its Asian distributor, Zuellig Pharma. The head of the Food and Drug Administration, Paisarn Dunkum, says the distributor submitted all required paperwork last week and registration of the vaccine will be completed in May.

Anutin has confirmed the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation is preparing to import doses of the Moderna vaccine but says the private sector must inform the GPO of their orders in advance, saying the organisation can’t stockpile the vaccine in anticipation of the private sector buying it.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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