DDC says China jabs have helped save lives
The Sinovac vaccine has played a key role in saving Thai lives since the Alpha variant was found in the country early this year, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) says.
DDC director-general Opas Karnkawinpong said the China-made Sinovac vaccine has helped Thailand control the pandemic since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak last year, when the world was facing a vaccine shortage crisis due to huge demand and inadequate supply.
"By having the vaccine at that time, we were able to control the outbreak and save many lives. Of course, all vaccine efficiency is reduced by the Delta variant, but it doesn't mean Sinovac is ineffective. Please do not devalue the vaccine," Dr Opas said.
"With regard to corruption, I would like to assure people of the ministry's transparency in its vaccine management plan. The Chinese government is concerned about corruption so there is no 'exchange' for the vaccine purchase."
DDC deputy chief Sophon Iamsirithavorn said the inactivated Sinovac vaccine is safe for use in children aged under 18, so Sinovac vaccine has been imported in case shipments from Pfizer and AstraZeneca do not arrive on schedule. The Ministry of Public Health expects to get 140 million doses of Sinovac by the end of this year.
Yong Poovorawan, chief of the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University, said it is obvious that no vaccine can prevent infections, but jabs can help reduce severe illness and loss of life.
"The vaccines cannot create herd immunity because they cannot prevent infections, but at very least they can prevent severe sickness," he wrote on FB.
The best solution at this time was to get Thais vaccinated, he said.