Thai experts eye boosters as 618 medical workers infected despite Sinovac jabs

Health

ABS-CBN News 11 July, 2021 - 10:13am 36 views

Posted at Jul 11 2021 11:13 PM | Updated as of Jul 12 2021 02:53 AM

BANGKOK - Thailand's health ministry said on Sunday more than 600 medical workers who received two doses of China's Sinovac vaccine have been infected with COVID-19, as authorities weigh giving booster doses to raise immunity.

Of the 677,348 medical personnel who received two doses of Sinovac, 618 became infected, health ministry data from April to July showed. A nurse has died and another medical worker is in critical condition.

An expert panel has recommended a third dose to trigger immunity for medical workers who are at risk, senior health official Sopon Iamsirithawon, told a news briefing on Sunday.

"This will be a different vaccine, either viral vector AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine, which Thailand will be receiving in the near term," he said, adding that the recommendation will be considered on Monday.

The announcement comes as the Southeast Asian country reported a record high of 9,418 community infections on Sunday. On Saturday authorities reported a record of 91 new daily coronavirus fatalities.

Thailand has reported a total of 336,371 confirmed infections and 2,711 fatalities since the pandemic began last year.

The majority of Thailand's medical and frontline workers were given Sinovac's shots after February with the viral vector vaccine from AstraZeneca arriving in June.

Thailand is expecting a donation of 1.5 million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines from the United States later this month and has ordered 20 million doses that will be delivered after October.

Neighbouring Indonesia, which has also heavily relied on Sinovac, said on Friday it would give the Moderna vaccine as boosters to medical workers. 

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Sinovac dumped as second-dose vaccine in favour of AstraZeneca

Bangkok Post 12 July, 2021 - 11:15am

published : 12 Jul 2021 at 16:08

writer: Online Reporters

In a major policy change, the Public Health Ministry has decided to use the AstraZeneca vaccine for the second jab for those who received Sinovac as the first dose.

Public Health Minister Anutin Chanvirakul announced the change on Monday. 

AstraZeneca would be administered as the second shot three or four weeks after the Sinovac inoculation. A combination of the two vaccines would provide a better defence against the Delta variant of the virus, he said.

Mr Anutin did not say what people who have had two doses of Sinovac should do when the change in policy comes into force, or how it would affect people awaiting their first or second dose of the Astra Zeneca vaccine.

The change was announced after a meeting of the National Communicable Disease Committee as part of measures to cope with Delta, the highly contagious variant of the virus first detected in India and rapidly becoming the dominant strain in Thailand 

Another key measure announced was a booster shot drive starting this month for health workers on the front line who had received two doses. They would receive a dose of the AstraZeneca or Pfifer vaccine.

He said daily fatalities could exceed 100 and new cases rise above 10,000 a day if no adjustments were made to the current programme.

The committee did not approve allowing people to carry out Covid-19 testing at home, as had been widely expected. Rapid antigen test kits are still allowed for health professional use only.

There had been speculation that people would be allowed to self-test at home as testing units were unable to cater to demand after infections and fatalities soared in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces.

Thonburi Healthcare Group Plc (THG), which operates a hospital chain, says it will join hands with a state agency to import BioNTech and Novavax Covid-19 vaccines.

JAKARTA: Indonesia reported a record daily high in coronavirus infections with 40,427 cases on Monday, data from the country's Covid-19 task force showed.

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Thailand is considering Western booster shots after 600 healthcare workers given Chinese vaccines caught COVID-19

Yahoo News 12 July, 2021 - 05:19am

The country is considering giving AstraZeneca doses to those already vaccinated with Sinovac.

It came after 600 vaccinated staff caught COVID-19, adding to questions surrounding Chinese jabs.

See more stories on Insider's business page.

Officials in Thailand appear to be losing confidence in the Chinese-made vaccine it gave its healthcare workers, recommending that they receive booster shots of the AstraZeneca jab.

The recommendation came on Monday from the nation's National Communicable Disease Committee. It was made after more than 600 medical personnel contracted COVID-19 despite having two doses of the Sinovac jab.

The decision is one of several taken recently to move away from Sinovac, and comes as the vaccine's effectiveness is being questioned more broadly.

Indonesia on Friday announced it would give a Moderna shot to health workers who were fully vaccinated with Sinovac.

It followed Bahrain and the UAE also offering a third shot to people who took Sinovac initially.

According to data from the Thai Health Ministry released on Saturday, 677,348 Thai medical personnel got two doses of Sinovac vaccine between April and July 10.

Of those, 618 were infected with the coronavirus, in spite of being fully vaccinated.

The majority of those - 597 of 618 - either had no symptoms or only a mild form of COVID-19. Nineteen contracted a moderate form of the disease, the figures said.

One nurse died, and another health worker was described as being in critical condition.

Last month, Indonesia reported that more than 350 health workers that were fully vaccinated with the Sinovac vaccine got COVID-19, and that dozens of them had been hospitalized.

Ten Indonesian doctors who died of COVID-19 in June had been fully vaccinated, the Guardian reported.

The news comes as Thailand is imposing lockdown-like measures to contain its deadliest COVID-19 outbreak to date, which is fueled by the Delta variant, Al Jazeera News reported on Monday.

Whether the Chinese vaccines can protect against the Delta variant has been questioned in several news outlets, including Insider, after highly vaccinated countries relying on these vaccines saw surges in cases.

The efficacy of the vaccine is not clear, as different trials have produced different results.

Data from a Turkish trial, which was published in the peer-reviewed journal The Lancet on Thursday, found the vaccine to have 83.5% efficacy against symptomatic infection.

This trial took place when the Alpha variant, first seen in the UK, was dominant in Turkey.

Real-world data from Indonesia, which monitored about 128,000 vaccinated healthcare workers between January and March found the vaccine was a lot more protective: 94% protection against infection and 96% effective at preventing hospitalization.

This was before the Delta variant, which is more resistant to vaccines, was in the country.

A less positive trial, this time in Brazil, puts Sinovac's efficacy at about 50%, at a time when another variant, Zeta, was dominant in the country.

China is investigating the efficacy of its shots against the more contagious Delta variant, the Wall Street Journal reported on July 9.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A nighttime curfew and other new coronavirus restrictions began Monday in Thailand’s capital and several other provinces, as health officials announced that medical workers will given booster shots of AstraZeneca vaccine after already receiving two doses of China's Sinovac vaccine. Thailand is battling rising COVID-19 cases and deaths since April worsened by the spread of the more contagious delta variant that was first identified in India. Thailand reported 8,656 new cases and 80 deaths on Monday, bringing its total since the pandemic began last year to 345,027 confirmed cases and 2,791 deaths.

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Thai medical workers infected despite Sinovac jabs

Yahoo News 12 July, 2021 - 05:19am

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.

"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.

A nighttime curfew and other new coronavirus restrictions began Monday in Thailand’s capital and several other provinces, as health officials announced that medical workers will given booster shots of AstraZeneca vaccine after already receiving two doses of China's Sinovac vaccine. Thailand is battling rising COVID-19 cases and deaths since April worsened by the spread of the more contagious delta variant that was first identified in India. Thailand reported 8,656 new cases and 80 deaths on Monday, bringing its total since the pandemic began last year to 345,027 confirmed cases and 2,791 deaths.

Thailand's health ministry said on Sunday more than 600 medical workers who received two doses of China's Sinovac vaccine have been infected with COVID-19, as authorities weigh giving booster doses to raise immunity. Of the 677,348 medical personnel who received two doses of Sinovac, 618 became infected, health ministry data from April to July showed.

The decision comes after hundreds of medical workers caught Covid despite being fully vaccinated.

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Data released by the Thai ministry of health on Sunday that almost 1 in 1,000 health workers with two doses of Sinvac got infected.

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Covid-19 global updates: Hundreds of Thais inoculated with Sinovac are infected as cases spike in Southeast Asia

The Washington Post 12 July, 2021 - 04:11am

More than 600 Thai medical workers who were fully inoculated with the Sinovac vaccine were infected by the coronavirus, which is now raging through Southeast Asia.

The 618 cases were among the 677,348 medical staff who had received two doses of the Chinese-developed coronavirus vaccine between April to July, government data show. Among those infected are a nurse who died and a health-care worker in critical condition.

A Thai health official said Sunday that an expert panel has recommended administering a third dose to at-risk medical workers, adding that the booster shot would be either one from Oxford-AstraZeneca or a messenger RNA vaccine made by either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna. The country is set to receive 1.5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the United States this month.

The number of coronavirus cases in Southeast Asia has been relatively low until this year. But many countries in the region are now facing the highly contagious delta variant with low vaccination rates: Only about 5 percent of people in Thailand and Indonesia are fully vaccinated.

The region’s vaccination shortage has been plugged in part by Chinese-made shots, but health experts, including some in China, have raised concerns about the Sinovac vaccine’s efficacy against the delta variant.

In Indonesia, at least 131 health-care workers, many of whom were inoculated with the Sinovac coronavirus vaccine, have died since June.

Thailand has recorded more than 345,000 coronavirus cases and 2,791 deaths. Last week, the Southeast Asian kingdom announced new curbs in Bangkok, the capital, and nine provinces in an attempt to slow transmission of the virus. The tightened rules include travel restrictions, a curfew and limits on the size of gatherings.

Vietnam also has also moved to restrict gatherings. In major metropolises like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, people are allowed to leave their homes only for certain purposes, including purchasing food and medicine. On Monday, the government began restricting movement in the city of Can Tho for 14 days, Reuters reported.

The country had been a model of virus containment until May, when a spike in infections began. A third of the 30,000-plus cases Vietnam has logged since the start of the pandemic came over the past week.

Malaysia, too, has reported more than 57,000 new cases from July 4 to July 11. Indonesia, which has logged more than 243,000 new cases over the same time period, is struggling with a shortage of oxygen supplies amid a surge in the country.

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said Friday that the Biden administration is dispatching 3 million vaccine doses to Indonesia and would also otherwise increase assistance.

Covid vaccine: Thailand decides to mix jabs as cases spike

BBC News 12 July, 2021 - 03:02am

The decision comes after hundreds of medical workers caught Covid despite being fully vaccinated with Sinovac.

Instead of two Sinovac shots, people will now receive the AstraZeneca vaccine after their first Sinovac shot.

Health workers already fully vaccinated with Sinovac will also receive a third booster from a different vaccine.

This can be either the AstraZeneca vaccine, or an mRNA vaccine like Pfizer/BioNTech. This third dose will be given three to four weeks after their second Sinovac jab, said the country's National Infectious Disease Committee on Monday.

AstraZeneca is currently the only other vaccine available in the country, with Pfizer/BioNTech shots donated by the US set to arrive soon.

Thailand first received Sinovac vaccines from China and began giving shots to its health workers in February.

On Sunday, the health ministry said out of more than 677,000 medical staff who were fully vaccinated with Sinovac, 618 were infected between April and July. One nurse has died and one medical staff is still in critical condition.

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showing results from Chile, Sinovac has an efficacy rate of 65.9% against Covid-19, is 87.5% effective at preventing hospitalisation and 86.3% effective at preventing death.

Thailand is currently in the midst of a spike of new infections, reporting a record high of 9,418 on Sunday. The death toll for the previous day stood at 91, also a record number.

Concerns over the efficacy of the Chinese vaccine amid rising cases have sharply driven demand for other shots offered by some private clinics.

Last week, one clinic selling the US Moderna vaccine on an online shopping platform saw its offer sold out within minutes. The Phyathai Hospital offered 1,800 vaccination slots for a single Moderna shot at 1,650 Thai baht ($50, £36) via Shopee.

Overall, Thailand has seen more than 345,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and nearly 2,800 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University from around the world.

There are concerns that the spike in cases in many South East Asian countries is due to the spread of the more infectious Delta variant, first discovered in India.

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In first, Thailand to mix Sinovac, AstraZeneca vaccine doses

Yahoo News 12 July, 2021 - 12:53am

BANGKOK (Reuters) -Thailand will use AstraZeneca Plc's COVID-19 vaccine as a second dose for those who received Sinovac's shot as their first dose in a bid to increase protection, it said on Monday.

The move is the first publicly announced mix-and-match of a Chinese vaccine and a Western-developed shot, as a new preliminary Thai study raised doubts about the longer-term protection of the two-dose course Sinovac vaccine.

"This is to improve protection against the Delta variant and build a high level of immunity against the disease," Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul told reporters, adding that the second dose of AstraZeneca would come three or four weeks after the first Sinovac shot.

There have been no studies specifically on mixing Sinovac and AstraZeneca released, but a growing number of countries are looking at mix-and-match of different vaccines or giving a third booster dose amid concerns new and more contagious variants may escape approved vaccines.

The announcement came a day after Thailand's health ministry said 618 medical workers out of 677,348 personnel who received two doses of the Sinovac vaccine became infected from April to July. One nurse died.

Neighbouring Indonesia has also reported breakthrough infections among medical and frontline workers who are fully inoculated with the Sinovac vaccine.

Thailand now plans to give booster shots of imported mRNA vaccine to its frontline workers - who were given imported Sinovac before the locally manufactured AstraZeneca vaccine was available in June. Indonesia is considering similar boosters.

On Monday, a preliminary Thai study of 700 medical workers indicated that Sinovac's protection rate as measured by antibody level ranged between 60% and 70% for the first 60 days after the second dose, but the rate steadily went down over time and appeared to halve every 40 days.

"From our research, if our medical staff received two doses of Sinovac ... they should definitely get a third booster shot," Sira Nanthapisal, a researcher at Thammasat University's Faculty of Medicine, told Reuters. The researchers have yet to release their full study data.

"They can do that either between AstraZeneca or Pfizer when it arrives, and we will continue to monitor their antibodies," Sira said.

An AstraZeneca representative declined to comment on Thailand's decision, saying only that vaccination policy is a matter for each country to decide.

Sinovac did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.

Last month, Sinovac spokesman Liu Peicheng told Reuters preliminary results from blood samples of the vaccinated showed a three-fold reduction in neutralizing effect against the Delta variant and suggested a third Sinovac shot could elicit more durable antibody reaction.

Thailand on Monday implemented its toughest coronavirus restrictions in more than a year in Bangkok and surrounding provinces, amid a fast-rising wave of the highly transmissible Alpha and Delta variants, with cases rising to nearly 10,000 per day and record deaths.

The measures, initially for two weeks, include widespread suspensions by airlines and bus firms, a curfew, mall closures and a five-person limit on gatherings.

The vast majority among the total 345,027 cases and 2,791 fatalities have been since April after nearly a year of largely controlling the virus, but there has been a slow start to its mass vaccination rollout that only began last month.

(Writing by Kay Johnson. Editing by Martin Petty)

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Pressure mounts for effective boosters as fully vaccinated nurse dies of Covid-19 | Thaiger

The Thaiger 11 July, 2021 - 08:41pm

The government is coming under increasing pressure to provide effective vaccine boosters to frontline medical staff, following the death of a nurse who’d received 2 doses of Sinovac. The Bangkok Post reports that the 30 year old nurse died a week after contracting Covid-19, despite being fully inoculated. Her cousin, Siwakorn Rattanakuntee, confirmed the death on Facebook, adding that the nurse became infected while working on an isolation ward.

“She had received 2 doses of vaccine that senior public health officials claim can reduce the severity of symptoms and lower mortality. My cousin died today, a week after being infected.”

Siwakorn is questioning the efficacy of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine, which has been widely administered to the country’s frontline healthcare workers. According to the Bangkok Post report, she is asking if her cousin might not have died if she’d been given a more effective vaccine.

The government has been heavily reliant on the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines, with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration insisting 2 doses of either vaccine are 90% effective at preventing serious illness. This is now being called into question, particularly in relation to the Sinovac vaccine. Over 600 healthcare workers who have received both doses of the Sinovac have gone on to contract Covid-19. It is not known if they have become infected with the highly contagious Delta variant, which studies have shown is resistant to Sinovac.

Thiravat Hemachudha from the Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University has joined the calls for healthcare workers to be given booster doses. He says the Sinovac vaccine has been shown to be most effective up to 30 days after the second dose. However, from then on, immunity begins to decline, eventually dropping to only 30 – 40%. Thiravat says the booster must be a different type of vaccine in order to protect healthcare workers who encounter Covid-19 variants in the course of their work.

“We’re not VIPs and we don’t have privileges. But it will help us carry on with our work and prevent us from infecting others.”

For information about Covid-19 insurance for Thailand residents, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Yahoo News 11 July, 2021 - 04:21am

Of the 677,348 medical personnel who received two doses of Sinovac, 618 became infected, health ministry data from April to July showed. A nurse has died and another medical worker is in critical condition.

An expert panel has recommended a third dose to trigger immunity for medical workers who are at risk, senior health official Sopon Iamsirithawon, told a news briefing on Sunday.

"This will be a different vaccine, either viral vector AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine, which Thailand will be receiving in the near term," he said, adding that the recommendation will be considered on Monday.

The announcement comes as the Southeast Asian country reported a record high of 9,418 community infections on Sunday. On Saturday authorities reported a record of 91 new daily coronavirus fatalities.

Thailand has reported a total of 336,371 confirmed infections and 2,711 fatalities since the pandemic began last year.

The majority of Thailand's medical and frontline workers were given Sinovac's shots after February with the viral vector vaccine from AstraZeneca arriving in June.

Thailand is expecting a donation of 1.5 million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines from the United States later this month and has ordered 20 million doses that will be delivered after October.

Neighbouring Indonesia, which has also heavily relied on Sinovac, said on Friday it would give the Moderna vaccine as boosters to medical workers.

(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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