Thailand plans to mix Sinovac and AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines. Critics say it’s risky

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No research has been published specifically on mixing the two types, but a growing number of countries are considering mix-and-match approaches to better protect themselves from highly transmissible variants – with Vietnam being the latest.

At a Ministry of Health press conference, Yong Poovorawan, a virology expert at Chulalongkorn University, said 1,200 people in Thailand had already received the Sinovac-AstraZeneca combination – in different orders – mainly due to allergic reactions to their first doses, causing them to change vaccines.

“There were no serious side effects, indicating that it is safe for actual use,” Yong said.

Yong said a preliminary result of his study of 40 subjects showed that an injection of the inactivated Chinese Sinovac vaccine followed by one of AstraZeneca’s viral vector vaccines resulted in a similar build-up of antibodies in recipients of two doses of AstraZeneca injection.

Thailand announced on Monday that the combination will be adopted.

But some critics have called it risky.

“Thais are not test subjects,” said Rewat Wisutwet, doctor and lawmaker for the Seri Ruam Thai party.

In Nonthaburi, a province bordering Bangkok, an offer on Facebook by health authorities for 20,000 people to receive the Sinovac-AstraZeneca mixture drew nearly 700 mostly critical comments.

“I’m not a lab mouse,” one post said, while another said, “It’s like playing with people’s lives.”

Another wrote: “If the first dose is Sinovac, please cancel it.

Sinovac did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment on the Thailand plan on Monday, and AstraZeneca said the vaccine policy was up to each country.

Thai health officials said on Monday that health workers would receive a booster from AstraZeneca or Pfizer, after 618 of the more than 677,000 medical staff who received two doses of Sinovac tested positive for Covid-19. Of the 618 who tested positive, only two became seriously ill, including a nurse who died.

“Despite this, all vaccines have been shown to be effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths,” Foreign Ministry official Pensom Lertsithichai said on Monday, adding that medical workers were highly exposed to Covid-19, which could have contribute to “vaccination”. failure.”

Thailand is suffering from its worst coronavirus outbreak to date, and authorities approved the use of rapid home antigen self-test kits on Tuesday, as health care and testing facilities in the capital Bangkok are upgraded. strained.

He also gave the green light to home or community isolation for asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic cases.

Thailand recorded 8,685 infections and 56 deaths on Tuesday, among 353,712 cases and 2,847 deaths in total – most of those recorded in the past three months.

CNN’s Julia Hollingsworth contributed reporting.


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