The health ministry of Thailand on July 11, 2021 (Sunday) informed that as many as 618 healthcare workers have contracted Covid despite receiving two doses of the China-made Sinovac vaccine. It is being reported that a nurse has died and another medical worker is in critical condition.
A senior health official, Sopon Iamsirithawon, told a news briefing on Sunday that from the month of April 2021 to July 2021, 677,348 medical personnel had been jabbed with the Chinese vaccines, out of which, more than 600 have been infected with Covid-19.
Now, experts are contemplating administering a third booster dose to the 677,348 medical personnel, who received the Chinese vaccine. This, they said, would trigger immunity for medical workers who are at risk.
The nation’s health ministry is weighing using either viral vector AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine for the booster doses. “This will be a different vaccine, either viral vector AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine, which Thailand will be receiving in the near term,” Sopon Iamsirithawon said, adding that the recommendation will be considered on Monday.
The announcement comes at a time when Thailand has reported a total of 336,371 confirmed infections and 2,711 Covid related deaths since the pandemic began last year.
Singapore officials raise doubts on the efficacy of the China-made vaccine Sinovac
Speaking about China’s Sinovac vaccine, last month, the top health officials in Singapore raised doubt over its effectiveness. According to reports, though the initial demand for the Chinese vaccine was strong in the country the Singapore government was hesitant in adding it to the national vaccination program. The country has instead, provided vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna under its national vaccination program.
Kenneth Mak, Director of medical services, Singapore said that he was worried over the vaccine’s effectiveness as reports coming from other countries suggest those who got Sinovac shot were still getting infected with Covid-19. He mentioned cases from Indonesia where health workers and doctors had to be hospitalized after contracting Covid-19 infection though they were vaccinated with Sinovac shot.
Countries which banked on the made-in-China Sinovac vaccine see a surge in Covid cases
Besides Indonesia, countries like Bahrain, UAE, Mongolia, Seychelles that relied on China-made Covid-19 vaccines have also seen a surge in infections.
China admits its vaccines “don’t have very high protection rates”
Interestingly, in April 2021, the top Chinese official for disease control had admitted that the current vaccines developed in the country don’t offer a high enough protection rate for the Coronavirus, therefore the Chinese experts were considering mixing different vaccines in order to boost effectiveness.
China currently has five vaccines approved for use in its mass vaccination campaign, three inactivated-virus vaccines from Sinovac and Sinopharm, a one-shot vaccine from CanSino, and the last from Gao’s team in partnership with Anhui Zhifei Longcom.
The effectiveness of these Chinese vaccines ranges from just over 50% to 79%, according to various International trials and the companies themselves.
The majority of Chinese vaccines are made by Sinovac, a private company, and Sinopharm, a state-owned firm. These vaccines have also been distributed to several dozen countries around the world including Mexico, Turkey, Indonesia, Hungary, Brazil, Pakistan and Turkey.