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Confusion and cancelled appointments over new vaccine mix-and-match policy

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Photo via Facebook/ กรุงเทพมหานคร โดยสำนักงานประชาสัมพันธ์ (Bangkok Metropolitan Administration)

With contradicting statements over the mixing of Covid-19 vaccine brands, many in Thailand’s medical field have been confused, and some even cancelled appointments today. This week, the AstraZeneca vaccine was approved to be used as a third “booster” shot and as a second dose for those who received a Sinovac shot.

But just as Thailand announced the approval, a chief scientist from the World Health Organisation warned against the mixing of vaccines, calling it a “dangerous trend.” PM Prayut Chan-o-cha then ordered the Public Health Ministry to review the mix-and-match practice.

Vaccine services even stopped at some hospitals in Chiang Mai and the provincial public health office also announced a suspension. The Hang Dong Hospital in the northern province made an announcement on Facebook saying “In order to end the confusion, all health units are ordered to stop vaccine service on July 14, 2021.”

In Nonthaburi, the provincial health office, which was the first to adopt the new policy on vaccines, postponed plans to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to those who had already received a dose of the Sinovac vaccine.

The administering of an AstraZeneca dose to those who had received a Sinovac dose is said to provide more defence against the highly transmissible Delta variant, according to Public Health Minister Anutin, who chaired the National Communicable Disease Committee meeting when it approved the new policy.

After the WHO’s warning, Prayut called for a study of the use of the different brands together. A government spokesperson later said that the prime minister did not order for the policy to be suspended.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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