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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai health officials form vaccine rollout committee

Maya Taylor

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Thai health officials form vaccine rollout committee | The Thaiger
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Health officials have formed a sub-committee to oversee the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines in Thailand. The Bangkok Post reports that the sub-committee will be headed up by Sophon Mekthon, chairman of the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation and adviser to the Public Health Minister. The team will be responsible for the overall vaccine programme, including deciding priority groups.

Meanwhile, Opas Kankawinpong from the Department of Disease Control, says private hospitals can also go ahead with offering approved Covid vaccines, outside of the government’s free programme.

“The situation with the pandemic is changing fast. We are going to see more pharmaceutical companies requesting Thai Food and Drug Administration approval and that means private hospitals will be able to provide Covid-19 vaccines.”

Last month, a private hospital in Bangkok was ordered to stop advertising the Moderna vaccine, which has not yet been given Food and Drug Administration approval. The hospital had been running an advertising campaign, offering the vaccine at a cost of 10,000 baht per person. The only vaccines currently approved for use in Thailand are the Chinese CoronaVac offering, as well as the AstraZeneca/Oxford University jab.

The Thai government has ordered 2 million doses of the Chinese vaccine, and 60 million doses from AstraZeneca. It’s understood frontline medical workers, healthcare volunteers, and high-risk groups will be the first to get the 2 million Chinese doses when the rollout begins next month. Thailand has also signed a technology transfer agreement allowing local firm Siam Bioscience to produce the AstraZeneca vaccine here.

Meanwhile, the NCDC has switched to saliva examination over throat swabs when conducting Covid-19 testing. Dr Opas confirms the method has been proven to be over 90% accurate.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    B.T.

    Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 10:05 am

    Private sector in Thailand.10000Baht.
    As example:Astra Zeneca vaccine will be available for 8$ to retail in the private market but in ..India.
    Pfizer, the US pharmaceuticals group that has developed a Covid-19 vaccine with BioNTech, said recently that it had “no plans” to supply the jab to the private sector “for the foreseeable future”.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 3:54 pm

      10,000 baht for the Moderna vaccine according to a previous estimate from one hospital, which seems not unreasonable given the investment required to store and transport it at that time, which was at -20c, with a “window” of only a few hours when it could be taken out to either room temperature or kept in a standard fridge.

      That requirement has been reduced, with CDC approval, so that “Vaccine vials may be stored in the refrigerator between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F) for up to 30 days before vials are punctured.”

      That’s an enormous difference in transport and distribution costs.

      Unlike Moderna’s, the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine has to be stored and transported at -70c, which is way below any standard logistic capacity or conventional hospital storage, and a very small window of use once it’s above -70c, which is what makes it a non-starter for the private sector “for the foreseeable future”.

      A blanket statement of “Private sector in Thailand.10000Baht” is nothing more than a guess based on one hospital’s upper estimate (with the lower estimate being 4,000 baht), with their estimate based on transport and storage requirements which have already changed considerably since.

  2. Avatar

    James R

    Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    Join the long queue, ordering and receiving your supply is quite a different thing.

    Who would trust the Chineses vaccine? But still beggars can not be choosers can they?

    It is quite expensive to us individuals here in the UK, two vaccinations are needed at a cost of £0 per person.

    I know some medical staff who have had theirs already.

    The next step is to vaccinate 2 million per week.

    But seeing as only Thais can register at the moment in Thailand the farangs can always go back to their own country to have the jab knowing it will be safe.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Norway adjusts advice after 28 possible vaccine-related deaths of elderly people

The Thaiger

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Norway adjusts advice after 28 possible vaccine-related deaths of elderly people | The Thaiger

The deaths of 23 elderly people are being investigated after dying a short time of receiving their first Covid-19 vaccine in Norway. Apart from the 23 deaths, medical officials are also reporting several people falling ill after receiving their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

At this stage there has been no direct correlation between the people’s deaths and inoculation wit the Pfizer vaccine, but medical officials report that 13 out of 23 people who died showed “common side effects of mRNA vaccines” such as “diarrhea, nausea and fever”.

mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. To trigger an immune response, many vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. Not mRNA vaccines. Instead, they teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies – cdc.gov

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has taken the action of cautioning against vaccinating elderly people above 80 years of age saying “those with a short life span may not benefit much from the jab”.

“For those with the most severe frailty, even relatively mild vaccine side effects can have serious consequences.”

“The agency listed fever and nausea as side effects which may have led to the deaths of some frail patients.”

Earlier this week, the Public Health authority noted that “any side effects of the vaccine will be outweighed by a reduced risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 for elderly, frail people.”

Steinar Madsen, the medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency, says that it may be a coincidence, “but we aren’t sure”.

Pfizer and BioNTech are actively working with the Norwegian authorities to investigate the death.

“The regulator discovered the number of incidents so far is not alarming and in line with expectations.”

But experts are of “the strong opinion” that doctors need to exercise caution in vaccinating people in the wake of the deaths of the 23 elderly people. The Norwegian Medicines Agency also reported that 21 women and 8 men reported side effects. Apart from the 23 deaths, 9 people have reported “serious side effects” without fatal outcomes such as “allergic reactions, strong discomfort and severe fever. Seven people reported less serious side effects such as severe pain at the injection site”.

Norwegian medical staff had administered at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna coronavirus vaccines to approximately 33,000 people as of the end of December.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Health Minister volunteering to receive first Covid jab, as effectiveness rate questioned

Maya Taylor

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Health Minister volunteering to receive first Covid jab, as effectiveness rate questioned | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

“I’ll go first!”

Thailand’s Public Health Minister has repeated his pledge to be the first person to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, in a bid to allay people’s concerns. Questions have been raised about the Chinese-manufactured Sinovac Biotech jab after its effectiveness rating was revised downwards by researchers in Brazil.

Anutin Charnvirakul says the vaccine process will be overseen by Sophon Mekthon from the Ministry of Public Health and all safety criteria will be met. The Pattaya News reports that the minister says he has confidence in the safety of the vaccine and is willing to prove it by being the first person to get the jab. It’s not the first time he has made this suggestion but there has been no official confirmation that the Health Minister will be first in line.

Thailand has ordered 2 million doses of the vaccine, with the first 200,000 expected to arrive next month. The government has also ordered 26 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine produced by AstraZeneca in partnership with Oxford University but is not expected to take delivery of that vaccine until the middle of the year.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Pattaya City mayor planning local rollout of Covid-19 vaccine

Maya Taylor

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Pattaya City mayor planning local rollout of Covid-19 vaccine | The Thaiger
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The mayor of Pattaya city says officials hope to be able to buy 240,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine for administration to local residents. Sonthaya Khunpluem is reviewing finances and plans to set aside approximately 80 million baht for vaccine procurement, subject to government approval.

“Currently, house registration of Pattaya City has reached a total population of 120,000 people, then we would need about 240,000 shots of the vaccine. If the price of the supplied vaccine was approximately 300 baht, Pattaya would need a budget of at least 72 million baht in order to cover all the residents in the city.”

The move comes following confirmation from the government that local authorities could purchase their own vaccines in order to speed up the process. A number of other local authorities have also said they intend to do the same. The government has stipulated that only vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration can be purchased.

Sonthaya hopes that by vaccinating Pattaya residents, tourism in the area could get a boost and the economic recovery could begin. The Pattaya News reports that officials from the Pattaya City Finance Office and other relevant agencies have met to review projects planned for the year ahead, to determine Pattaya’s spending power for buying vaccines.

It’s understood the vaccine would be offered to local residents for free, but what is not known is if that includes foreign residents. Officials have also not confirmed when the rollout is expected to begin, or which vaccine would be used.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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