Sinopharm lined up as alternative for children amid concern over Pfizer
Sinopharm may be offered as an alternative vaccine for children before schools reopen on November 1, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Tuesday.
The current plan is to use Pfizer vaccine to inoculate children aged 12 and up in Thailand. However, concerns have been raised after US research indicated that boys are four to six times more likely to get ill from a rare side effect of Pfizer vaccine – myocarditis (heart inflammation) – than from Covid-19 itself.
Anutin said that the Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is inspecting documents from the makers of Sinopharm and other vaccines to check whether these vaccines could be used to inoculate children.
FDA secretary-general Phaisan Dankhum said last week that Sinopharm’s importer had sent documents for approval on September 2 and that the process should not take more than 30 days.
The Pfizer vaccine has already been approved for use in children by the Thai FDA.
Anutin said the current Covid-19 vaccination rate in Thailand has risen to around 900,000 doses per day, greatly reducing severe symptoms among people who have been fully vaccinated.
“The ministry will evaluate the situation to consider which lockdown measures can be eased from next month,” he added.