Officials say that hundreds of medical workers in Thailand have been infected with COVID-19, even after receiving two doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine.
On Sunday (July 11), the country’s health ministry said that over 600 of the nearly 700,000 medical personnel who’ve been fully vaccinated with Sinovac were infected between April and July.
Boon Vanasin is the chairman of a Thai healthcare group.
He compared Sinovac to other vaccines, like European-made AstraZeneca, and said China’s jab is not as effective against the quickly spreading Delta variant.
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“Here, there were five medical staff infected with COVID-19 and two were admitted to the ICU. This means Sinovac can’t protect people from the virus and the symptoms will be severe, compared to those who got the AstraZeneca. It shows that people who are infected with the Delta variant after receiving the Sinovac vaccine can have symptoms as severe as people who haven’t received any vaccine at all."
An expert panel has recommended a third dose to trigger immunity for medical workers at risk, according to senior health official Sopon Lamsirithawon who told press on Sunday (July 11) AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine will be made available “in the near term.”
Thailand is expecting a donation of 1.5 million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines from the U.S. later this month.
Neighboring Indonesia, which has also heavily relied on Sinovac, said on Friday (July 9) it would give the Moderna vaccine as boosters to medical workers.