Thailand buys 12 million doses of COVID - 19's coronavirus vaccine

323
2

BANGKOK, Aug. 17 - Thailand will purchase an additional 12 million doses of Sinovac's coronavirus vaccine to try to expedite its rollout, a senior official said on Tuesday, despite concerns over its efficacy against the Delta variant of COVID - 19.

Thailand's strategy had planned to use mainly locally produced AstraZeneca vaccines but with supply short of the government's target, Sinovac shots are being used in a mix and match approach https: www.reuters.com world asia-pacific thailand-starts - tighter-coronavirus lockdown-around - capital 2021 - 07 - 12 to inoculate the population faster.

The mass vaccination campaign was started in June, but the rollout is being hampered by Thailand's worst coronavirus wave so far, which is challenging Bangkok health system at a time when just 7.3% of the population has been fully vaccinated.

The Indovac virus vaccine will be used as a first dose and AstraZeneca's viral vector vaccine the second, a mix that officials say protects against the Delta variant.

Thailand was the first to declare it would use this combination of two nations.

A first shot of Sinovac by AstraZeneca significantly boosts immunity, said Chawetsan Namwat, a senior health official at the Department of Disease Control.

Thailand reported a new record 239 COVID- 19 deaths on Tuesday with 7,973 total fatalities and is on course to pass the 1 million mark in cases this week.

The vaccine Sinovac was initially used for priority groups, medical personnel and the resort island of Phuket.

A Thai study conducted on medical personnel from May to July showed two doses of Sinovac offered 72% protection against infections and 98% protection against severe symptoms and death.

The Sinovac vaccine tested in Thailand is effective, said Taweesap Sriprapasiri of the Department of Disease Control.

Even with new variant, the vaccine is still effective.