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‘Memo’ leaks prompt Sinovac concerns

THAILAND: The medical society is calling on the government to give mRNA vaccines as a booster shot to frontline medical workers, after a leaked official document appeared to oppose third shots for health personnel due to fears it might stoke fears that the Sinovac vaccine does not provide effective protection.

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 6 July 2021, 09:04AM

Vials of Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul.

Vials of Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul.

The apparent memo was taken from a June 30 meeting between an academic committee on communicable disease control, a sub-committee on immunisation and a working academic panel on vaccine management in which the distribution of the Pfizer vaccine was discussed.

It is expected that about 1.5 million doses of from Pfizer will arrive this month followed by 20mn more in the fourth quarter.

According to the leaked document, people aged 12-18; the elderly, people with chronic diseases and pregnant women; and frontline medical workers in outbreak areas have been prioritised for the initial 1.5mn doses, which will include Bangkok and the surrounding provinces.

However, one comment recorded in the meeting’s notes sparked an outcry, as an attendee opposed the use of Pfizer vaccine as the third dose for medical personnel who have already been vaccinated with Sinovac.

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“In the present situation, if the vaccine is given to the third group, it is an admission that Sinovac can’t give protection and it will make it harder to find an excuse,” according to the document.

#GivePfizertomedicalworkers was soon trending on social media.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul yesterday played down the issue, saying it was only one opinion and not government policy.

“It will be considered by the communicable disease control committee and the vaccination committee. We don’t know how the debate will go,” he said.

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Christy Sweet | 06 July 2021 - 18:26:36

Egads, to watch as every Somchai, Lek and Prasert gets a vaccine donated by my own country whilst I cannot even get CrapOVac. By all means Pfizer up the medical workers, elderly etc, first but no more blocking expats stemming from immigration TM-30 SNAFUS.  

Kurt | 06 July 2021 - 16:14:11

Thought we passed that stage thinking that Sinovac sugarwater needs more excuses. Anyone who downplays that is a ostrich, with or without deep pockets to secure.

CaptainJack69 | 06 July 2021 - 13:21:37

But haven't you heard, that document was not "authentic" (according to Thai TV last night) so not to worry, nothing to look at here, just keep calm and carry on.

JohnC | 06 July 2021 - 09:20:54

The current government will never admit they have messed this right up. I wonder how much the kick-backs were for purchasing so much apparently fairly useless vaccine?


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