Govt sticks to 10-million jab pledge

Govt sticks to 10-million jab pledge

Health chief plugs mixed dose plan

Senior citizens wait for their turn to be vaccinated at Bang Sue Grand Station on Sunday. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Senior citizens wait for their turn to be vaccinated at Bang Sue Grand Station on Sunday. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The Department of Disease Control insists it has ample supplies to administer 10 million doses a month of AstraZeneca and Sinovac to those living in Bangkok and surrounding provinces.

Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, said the government will increase the pace at which it is vaccinating people living in in high-infection areas after having almost completed its initial target of immunising healthcare officers.

Next to receive their shots will be those suffering from chronic health complaints, which are estimated to have a 70% higher chance of dying from infection than healthy individuals.

Next on the list of priorities will be Bangkok, its neighbours and other areas with high infection rates.

When asked how much AstraZeneca formula it has available, Dr Opas said the government was looking at other brands with a strong reputation and had recently placed an order with Pfizer.

As to the question of whether more Sinovac vaccine will be ordered, he said the cabinet agreed there was evidence that Sinovac can help lessen critical symptoms.

Sinovac has come under fire recently after evidence emerged of people having received both doses but still falling ill with the virus.

Dr Opas also told a media briefing yesterday that the use of a mix of vaccines may help to boost immunity against emerging strains of the virus.

He said immunity could be achieved two weeks after taking mixed doses for a month and added the government hopes cross-vaccination will help it maximise its current resources and administer five million doses of Sinovac and six million doses of AstraZeneca a month.

The government has come under pressure after reports emerged of people who had received the full course of Sinovac treatment becoming infected with Covid-19.

Meanwhile, a recent poll by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University showed that most people think the Covid-19 situation is extremely serious and will take at least two years to abate.

The poll was conducted online among 1,702 people nationwide during July 5-15, as the numbers of infections and deaths were rising but vaccinations were proceeding slowly.

Concerning the seriousness of the Covid-19 situation, 60.9% thought it was extremely serious, 24.1% very serious and 14.95% fairly serious.

Of the respondents, 36.7% thought it would take more than two years for the country to recover; 25.9% said two years; 27.6% said one year; and 9.7% thought six months.

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