Fri, December 03, 2021

in-focus

Inactivated Covid-19 vaccines as good as mRNA, viral vector ones, says top health official


In an online post on Monday, Dr Chalermchai Boonyaleephan said more than 200 countries have been affected by Covid-19 since it emerged in December 2019.

“And more than half or 110 of these countries have administered inactivated vaccines to their people,” vice-chairman of the Public Health Commission added. “So far, more than 7 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered and roughly half or 3.4 billion have been inactivated vaccines like Sinovac and Sinopharm.”

Chalermchai said that though these inactivated vaccines are believed to be less effective than the mRNA types like Pfizer and Moderna or the viral-vector types like AstraZeneca, they tend to produce fewer side effects and are therefore safer.

“The inactivated technology has been used for decades to produce vaccines against influenza, polio and hepatitis,” he said.

“Studies have shown that the neutralising antibody [NAb] generated by an inactivated Covid-19 vaccine rises slower and falls quicker than that of other types of vaccine,” he added. “However, NAb is just one way of measuring the immune system’s efficiency. Inactivated vaccines have proven that they can stimulate recipients’ immunity in B-cell and T-cell at the same level as other types of vaccines. This means that inactivated vaccines are just as effective as other vaccines in protecting against mutated variants of the virus.

“Furthermore, when looking at the outbreak situation in each country, it is evident that the number of infections in countries that have provided inactivated vaccines is at about the same level as in countries that have provided other vaccines,” Chalermchai added.

Data shows that the most administered Covid-19 vaccine is Sinovac at 1.8 billion doses, followed by Pfizer and Sinopharm at 1.6 billion doses, AstraZeneca at 1.5 billion doses, and Moderna at 400 million doses. Countries that have administered the highest number of inactivated vaccines are Indonesia at 200 million doses, Brazil at 100 million doses, Pakistan at 70 million doses and Turkey at 60 million doses. Thailand has administered more than 21 million Sinovac doses and over 29 million Sinopharm jabs.

 

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Published : October 18, 2021

By : THE NATION