Thailand to mix Sinovac and AstraZeneca shots

BANGKOK: Thailand is to mix-and-match China’s Sinovac with AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to boost protection against the virus.

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said AstraZeneca vaccine will be used as the second dose for those who received first Sinovac shot.

He said the second shot would be given with an interval between three to four weeks after their first jab.

“A combination of the two vaccines would provide better defence against the Delta variant (which was first detected in India) of the virus,” he was quoted saying by Bangkok Post.

Besides that, Anutin said the National Communicable Disease Committee also approved that health workers already fully vaccinated with Sinovac will also receive a third booster shot, either AstraZeneca vaccine or an mRNA vaccine like Pfizer-BioNTech.

The decision comes after hundreds of medical workers who completed two doses of vaccine got infected with Covid-19.

The majority of medical and frontline workers in the kingdom were given Sinovac shots since February 28.

Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) assistant spokesperson Dr Apisamai Srirangsan said a total 677,348 healthcare workers in the kingdom have been vaccinated and 618 or about 0.09 per cent were infected with Covid-19, to date.

She said one nurse had died and another nurse in critical condition.

 “Due to constant exposure to Covid-19 patients, as well as underlying health conditions, this could have contributed to ‘vaccine failure’,” she said at the Covid-19 daily briefing.

Meanwhile, Thailand recorded 8,656 new Covid-19 cases and 80 fatalities over the last 24 hours, bringing the total infections in the kingdom to 345,027 and 2,791 deaths to date.

Of the new cases, she said 8,632 were local transmissions of which including 2,515 found through active case detection and 24 imported cases.

Bangkok, the epicentre of the latest outbreak, logged 2,399 new cases and 44 fatalities.

Starting today, Thailand imposed stringent measures, including night curfew from 9pm to 4am and closure of malls and gatherings limited to 5 persons in Bangkok and nine other provinces to halt the spread of Covid-19.

Director of News Division from the Department of Information of Foreign Affairs Ministry, Pensom Lertsithichai said based on the assessment of the Ministry of Public Health, the restrictions imposed could see results within a month. – Bernama