Elderly to get Sinovac shots

Elderly to get Sinovac shots

AstraZeneca shots arrive next month

A man received a Covid-19 vaccine in Klong Toey district on Tuesday. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
A man received a Covid-19 vaccine in Klong Toey district on Tuesday. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

People aged 60 and over will be given Sinovac vaccine shots until doses of AstraZeneca vaccine arrive next month, said Dr Sophon Mekthon, assistant to the public health minister and chairman of a subcommittee on Covid-19 vaccine management.

This group of people who are registered to get the vaccination this month have no choice but to be administered with Sinovac. On Friday, the national communicable disease committee announced the approval of Sinovac's Covid-19 vaccine for adults aged 60 and over.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has said Sinovac research has shown its vaccine is safe for members of that age group who are in good health and helps stimulate the body to build resistance against the virus.

The approval came despite the World Health Organization reporting on Wednesday that an independent assessment came away with only a "low level of confidence" in the quality of evidence that the risk of serious adverse effects was low for adults above 60. The study did, however, back Sinovac claims that two doses of the vaccine are effective in safely preventing transmission in other age groups.

Virologist Yong Poovorawan had insisted earlier there was no prohibition against vaccinating people 60 years old and over with Sinovac although more information was needed during vaccinations over the course of a few months.

The Department of Medical Sciences has also reiterated the safety and efficacy of the AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines. Both vaccines met required standards and the department checked and tested every batch delivered to Thailand, it said.

Yesterday, Dr Sophon said jabbing the elderly with Sinovac vaccine can save many lives and lessen the severity of Covid-19 infections. Thailand has now imported 3.5 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine.

A further 500,000 doses donated by China will arrive this week, and two million bought by the GPO will be delivered later this month.

Sinovac is being offered to the elderly while the AstraZeneca vaccine is unavailable this month. Starting next month, AstraZeneca will be the main vaccine in the national inoculation campaign.

It will be given to people aged 60 and over and those suffering from congenital diseases. Altogether, 16 million doses of AstraZeneca will be obtained over the next month and July.

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