We receive a lot of requests from patients for more information on the Vaccines in Thailand, their effectiveness, where to obtain them, and so on, so here are some of the more common questions we get asked, with answers:
Is the Chinese Sinovac vaccine safe to take? There are a lot of reports in the media about healthy people dying after taking the Sinovac vaccine?
The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) has deemed Sinovac Vaccine to be safe for use. They have produced a set of guidelines relating to this vaccine which you can read here
More articles on the background and efficacy of the vaccine can be found here but the bottom line is the vaccine is safe to use and highly recommended for high-risk groups if no other alternative is readily available.
I have heard Sinovac is not effective on the new variants so why bother, why not wait till a better vaccine, like Moderna or Pfizer becomes available?
So far, trials show Sinopharm and Sinovac have a lower efficacy against Covid-19 than their mRNA counterparts, In Brazilian trials, Sinovac had about 50% efficacy against symptomatic Covid-19, BUT, and this is a big BUT, it has near 100% effectiveness against severe COVID and mortality.
Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines are more than 90% effective against symptomatic Covid-19 and have very high efficacy against severe covid at near 100%
So put very simply if you take the Sinovac vaccine you might still get sick but highly unlikely you will develop the more dangerous, Severe Covid.
This means if you are over 50 years old, are overweight, or have a preexisting health condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure you should definitely consider taking this vaccine if no other alternatives are readily available.
Other vaccines in Thailand
What about AstraZeneca vaccine is it safe?
The AstraZeneca vaccine employs a chimpanzee adenovirus to help the immune system identify and battle the coronavirus, while Sinovac uses an inactivated virus to ward off infection.
According to the WHO, it is safe but it has been suspended for use by several European countries pending further investigation.
This is because of Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) which is a rare clotting condition that can occur after AstraZeneca vaccination because of an abnormal immune response.
The risk of TTS is smaller following the second dose of AstraZeneca than the first dose.
Of the nearly 16 million people who received the second dose of AstraZeneca in the UK, 23 developed TTS, a rate of 1.5 per million people vaccinated. This compares with 14.2 per million for a first dose. You can draw your own conclusions.
Many people who take the Sinovac vaccine have reported getting sick, should I just wait until a better vaccine is available?
Like any vaccine, COVID-19 vaccines can cause mild, short-term side effects, such as a low-grade fever or pain or redness at the injection site. Most reactions to vaccines are mild and go away within a few days on their own. More serious or long-lasting side effects to vaccines are possible but extremely rare.
If I take Sinovac now can I add Moderna or Pfizer on top when it becomes available?
Yes, you can and YES, YOU SHOULD.
Germany’s vaccine committee has this week recommended anyone who received an AstraZeneca first dose have Pfizer or Moderna shots as the second for better protection against the coronavirus, including the Delta variant.
Mixing vaccine platforms —a method known as heterologous prime-boost — has a long history in immunology as being far superior to multiple doses of the same vaccine.
Different types of vaccines boost the immune system in different ways, so multiple vaccines provide broader coverage, this is the logic. Early research has suggested that such an approach may be an effective strategy with Covid-19.
Many people ask us about the availability of Vaccines and where they can get a shot.
We as a clinic are not permitted to administer vaccines at this point in time. We recommend contacting the Samitivej hospital, or your local hospital where they have your medical records and put your name down for Moderna when it becomes available in Q4 and Sinovac if you have been unable to obtain it through work or other sources.
If you need more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at HE Clinic we offer free consultations to all patients. If patients are unable to attend the clinic you can reach us on our LINE app