The Department of Disease Control (DDC) plans to offer the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine as a booster shot for those who received two inactivated Sinopharm vaccine doses, according to its spokesman.
Opas Karnkawinpong said the DDC’s sub-committee on promoting disease immunity advised on Wednesday that recipients of Sinopharm should receive a third dose of one of the other two vaccines under the government’s guidance.
He said the DDC has made a request to the Chulabhorn Royal Academy (CRA) to submit the necessary documents to the sub-committee so it can consider approving booster shots next month or in early December for people who received their Sinopharm jabs in July. “We need to see the documents from the CRA before we make an announcement to provide the booster shots to those in need,” Dr Karnkawinpong said.
The CRA is among several organisations that have offered jabs for free. The Sinopharm vaccine is regarded as an alternative option under the government’s policy, with 25 million doses in reserve.
It is believed that recipients of the inactivated Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines require a booster shot from other vaccine makers to boost their immunity against coronavirus, especially the Delta variant. The AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines are mRNA vaccines, believed to be more effective against this strain in particular. As of Wednesday, 6.8 million people had received their first dose of Sinopharm while 4.8 million had received two doses, says the Public Health Ministry.
The DDC said the country should have provided 70 million vaccine shots by next week. So far, it has given 68.5 million doses. It said 54.2% of the public have received their first shot, 38% their second and 2.9% their third.
The government is planning to provide 30 million more doses this year. together with preparing an additional 120 million doses of vaccine for next year.
Some 15 million doses of AstraZeneca and 10 million doses of Pfizer are expected to arrive next month.