Govt defends Chinese vaccine amid social media concern

Govt defends Chinese vaccine amid social media concern

The Ministry of Public Health on Sunday insisted that CoronaVac, the vaccine developed by Chinese company Sinovac, could protect people against Covid-19, despite a claim on social media that a man who received the jab had not developed any immunity.

"The immunity develops two weeks after you have had your shots," said Dr Supakit Sirilak, chief of the Department of Medical Science (DMS) in response to concerns over the efficacy of the vaccine. "However, the level of immunity differs based on the virus variants."

Many people have responded to one man's claim that he received the state-sponsored jab and then bought a rapid test which showed he hadn't developed any immunity at all. Dr Supakit said anyone wanting to check the efficacy of their jabs should only have their immunity checked by standard laboratory tests.

"I am not surprised to see that the rapid test could not detect the immunity because it couldn't reach the point where the immunity is found, which is spike protein," said Dr Supakit, who said he had had the Chinese vaccine in February and had developed immunity two weeks after the second jab. "It needs to be done under standard laboratory conditions with a proven method," he added.

Dr Supakit said Sinovac's vaccine performed best with a level of immunity at 114 against the original strain from China's Wuhan -- but its efficacy dropped to less than half that level when measured against the mutated G strain that is now spreading around Thailand.

He also quoted research of CoronaVac's efficacy in Chile showing that the level of immunity increased by 47.8% when tested 14 days after two shots but was as high as 95.6% after 70 days. Sinovac's vaccine is 67% effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19 infections and prevents 80% of fatalities, according to a Bloomberg news report this week, citing a Chilean government study published on Friday.

Dr Supakit said the DMS had been monitoring vaccines' efficacy against Covid-19 variants, with special attention given to variants from South Africa and India.

Meanwhile, Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, chief of the Department of Disease Control, said his staff had found that infections from the latest Thong Lor cluster were predictable and one person could spread the disease to 1.6 people. That means the number of new infections will be reduced within two weeks if people comply with the government's measures, including the closure of pubs, a ban on mass gatherings and drinking alcohol in restaurants.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (10)

Indonesia to lift palm oil export ban from Monday

JAKARTA: Indonesia will lift its palm oil export ban from Monday, May 23, following improvements in the domestic cooking oil supply situation, President Joko Widodo said on Thursday.

18:46

Singapore Air says business travel is climbing its way back

Business travel is returning for Singapore Airlines Ltd, with forward bookings accounting for a similar proportion of ticket sales as before the Covid pandemic now that border restrictions have been lifted.

18:09

Cannabis laws to be eased next month

Anyone interested in growing cannabis plants and hemp for home use will be able to do so without having to seek permission from the authorities as of next month, when both plants are due to be removed from the category 5 narcotics list, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official said on Thursday.

17:45