The provincial health office in Nonthaburi today (July 14) opted to postpone its plan to give people who have received a single dose of the Sinovac vaccine a dose of AstraZeneca as their second jab.
Some private and public hospitals in Chiang Mai, including Hang Dong Hospital, announced they would provide no vaccination service today.
Nonthaburi was the first province to adopt the ministry’s new policy after it was endorsed by the National Communicable Disease Committee on Monday. The panel was chaired by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.
Nonthaburi announced its decision yesterday, only to immediately suspend its implementation this morning.
In Chiang Mai, the provincial public health office also announced its suspension. “In order to end the confusion, all health units are ordered to stop vaccine service on July 14, 2021,” Hang Dong Hospital posted the message on its Facebook account.
Mr Anutin said after the committee meeting on Monday that mixing the Sinovac for the first dose with AstraZeneca for the second would yield a better defence against the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus first detected in India.
However, Prime Minister Prayut called for a thorough study of the jab policy shift during yesterday’s teleconferenced cabinet meeting, to take into consideration the safety of vaccine recipients.
The prime minister’s reaction followed a warning from the World Health Organization on Monday that indviduals should not mix and match different vaccines.
“Individuals should not decide for themselves, public health agencies can, based on available data. Data from mix and match studies of different vaccines are awaited - immunogenicity and safety both need to be evaluated,” WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said.
Respected virus expert Yong Poovorawan yesterday was adamant using Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines in series was safe and effective and Thailand’s best option for fighting the fast-spreading Delta variant.
Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri explained today that the prime minister did not order the plan cancelled, but he hoped the committee to be open for more reactions first.
The government’s priority was to see more people inoculated, as that would reduce the rate of daily fatalities and new infections, he said.