Vaccination of children and booster dose for public to start by next year
AstraZeneca has heeded Thailands request for an increase in supply of Covid-19 vaccines from September, Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general, Department of Disease Control (DDC), said.
Under the current terms from June-August, Thailand is receiving on average 5-6 million doses per month.
Opas said that from September, Thailand will receive 7.2 million doses.
As for the vaccine procurement plans for 2022, it is likely that vaccinations may require booster doses to increase immunity among those who have taken two doses, including expanding inoculation to other target groups like children, he said.
Research by many agencies in many countries has found that immunity is reduced after two doses, irrespective of the type of vaccine. Therefore, it is necessary to find additional vaccines to inject two groups, namely children who have not been vaccinated at all and booster dose groups.
The National Vaccine Board has suggested that by 2022 at least 120 million additional doses of vaccine will be provided and a variety of vaccines, including inactivated, mRNA, Virus vectors, proteins, etc. This decision has been approved by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.
The National Vaccine Institute intends to import 50 million doses of Pfizer vaccine and 50 million doses of AstraZeneca. If a company can produce an efficient version 2 and it is safe, it could be sent as a second batch. The quantity and delivery time will be negotiated further, said Dr Opas.