Citing academic research, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Friday (Dec 24) that those who get three doses of AstraZeneca will greatly reduce their chances of being infected by Omicron, reports the Bangkok Post.
“Thailand has its own AstraZeneca manufacturing facilities. It was confirmed that 61 million doses will be delivered by year’s end, while another 60mn doses, including second-generation vaccines, will be handed over at the beginning of next year.
“I also want to ask people to avoid panicking as long as the information from the Department of Disease Control [DDC] shows Omicron has much less severe symptoms than Delta,” said Mr Anutin.
DDC Director-General, Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, said Oxford University believes that three doses of AstraZeneca has the same efficacy against Omicron as two doses do against Delta.
The DDC’s sub-committee on promoting disease immunity is now discussing how to adjust the current vaccination regimen.
Dr Opas said the administration of Pfizer shots for children aged 5-11 years will not be rushed as it requires the consent of their parents. Information from the Education Ministry shows there are about 5.04mn children in that age bracket.
Yesterday’s meeting also agreed to administer a fourth vaccine shot for frontline health personnel, as well as people who suffer from chronic diseases and immunodeficiency disorders.
Dr Apisamai Srirangson, assistant spokeswoman for the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said the body is working with Oxford University to produce a specific vaccine against Omicron.
Technically, adenovirus-based vaccines like AstraZeneca are best suited to protect against the new variant in a faster manner, she added.
Since Feb 28, 101.6mn doses of vaccines have been administered in Thailand ‒ 50.86mn as a first dose, 45.01mn as a second dose and 5.731mn as a third dose.