Sinovac-AstraZeneca combo safe and effective, insists Public Health Ministry
People whose first jab was Sinovac and second jab AstraZeneca have shown a significant boost in immunity against Covid-19, Public Health Ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit, said on Thursday.
“The ministry has stopped giving two doses of Sinovac and is instead giving a Sinovac-AstraZeneca combination,” he said. “So far, 1.5 million such combinations have been administered and have proven to be safe and effective.”
Dr Supphakit Siriluck, director-general of the Department of Medical Sciences, said the Sinovac-AstraZeneca combo is as effective as two doses of AstraZeneca, but the second dose can be administered faster. The interval between jabs for Sinovac is two to four weeks, while that of AstraZeneca is 16 weeks.
“The Sinovac-AstraZeneca formula allows us to vaccinate more people in a wider area in a shorter time,” he said. “The ministry is also planning to provide AstraZeneca booster shots to the 3 million people who have received two shots of Sinovac.”
Meanwhile, Dr Manas Phothaporn, deputy director-general of the Department of Medical Services, said the ministry has adjusted its treatment strategy for Covid-19 patients by prescribing Favipiravir tablets to patients with mild or no symptoms.
“By giving the drug before symptoms escalate, patients can recover faster and make more beds available at community isolation centres,” he said. “Those who have tested positive but are still asymptomatic will be given Fah Talai Jone provided they have no underlying health issues.”