The Public Health Ministry will launch a project on COVID-19 vaccine efficiency among people who received the Sinovac or AstraZeneca vaccines to learn more about their ability to build up immunity in the body.
Results of the test project are expected to be known within the next two months and will help shape the government’s vaccine policy for the next 12 months.
Speaking at the ministry’s daily briefing on Wednesday, Dr Somsak Akksilp, chief of the Department of Medical Services (DMS), said the COVID-19 vaccines could not guarantee life-long efficiency to prevent further infections so it was important to learn more about the issue.
“This will be an important factor concerning our policy for the next year as we look for a vaccine which is appropriate for Thais,” Dr Akksilp said. “The study of vaccine efficiency will be done by the ministry team and its partners and will concern people who received the vaccine from both the Sinovac and AstraZeneca companies.
“We have information on its efficiency from abroad, but we don’t have such information in our hands regarding Thais. We do need to verify the vaccine’s efficiency so we can have an appropriate vaccine for the next year.”
He said medical faculties from prestigious universities and the DMS are working together on the issue. Chulalongkorn University’s faculty of medicine was assigned to study immunity levels in ordinary people who have received the vaccine.
An immunity study among medical staff will be done by Mahidol University’s faculty of medicine, Siriraj Hospital.
It will be followed by a study of recipients living with kidney disease which will be done by the faculty of medicine at Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University. A study of jab recipients who have cancer will be done by the DMS.
Thailand has given COVID-19 vaccines to 53,842 of 93,600 (58%) people who have now received an initial dose of the vaccine from 200,000 doses provided by Sinovac and another 100,000 doses by AstraZeneca. Bangkok and Samut Sakhon provinces have received the most vaccinations.